The December issue of Martha Stewart Living features a great photo spread of antique, collectible Santa figurines, and I highly suggest picking up a copy (or at least stopping by Martha’s Web site to check out the selection). When my eyes fell upon the collectible Santa feature, a smile spread across my face — there’s something so charming about these little Santas. Most likely its the nostalgia factor, which sends me back to my grandparents living room on Christmas Eve, their Frasier Fir tree covered in ornate decorations that looked old then.
Most of the figurines featured in Living are made from celluloid and were available at five-and-dime stores during the 1930s-1950s. They also cost less than a dollar! Had I been a kid then I would have begged my mom to take me to the five-and-dime every Christmas so I could slowly amass a collection, which enevitably I would have gotten rid of in my teens only to regret it in my 30s.
Today, the five-and-dimes are gone and with them the celluloid Santa’s, but a quick search on antique and second-hand retailers sites like Ruby Lane and eBay returns a pretty nice selection of the collectibles, although this time around they’ll run you a bit more than a nickel or a dime.