Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 DAYS of SANTA CLAUS Day 16 My Most Expensive Santa

I almost titled this post "My Most Valuable Santa" but VALUE really doesn't have as much to do with what I spent on it, it is more of what it means to me.

Since this Santa is the one I paid the most for, that does make "Trudging Santa" by George John my most expensive Santa.

If you've read my previous posts, you might remember me writing about at shop, St. Nick and Friends in Wimberley, TX, that was only open for a few years back in the nineties. I can't recall if it was 1992 or 1993 when my friend, Judy S. and I first found the shop and marveled at all the original hand carved Santas created by famous artists like Bolinger and Costanza, and some carved by not-so-famous artists. 

Since both of us were new mom's and neither of us could justify purchasing any of the original work by the famous artist, we both picked out a couple of hand carved Santa ornaments, and Judy found a hand carved Santa pulling a sleigh with a tree on it, carved by a Texas artist. 

Then Judy found a Trudging Santa (much like this one) by George John.

We both marveled at the craftsmanship and colors. Even though John's work was priced much lower than the more famous artists, he was still rather expensive, at least for my budget. Judy was concerned whether or not she should invest in such a piece, and even considered putting back her Santa and the sleigh even though we'd already decided on the perfect place to put it in her home. Still, she could not resist, and both Santas were bagged in the shop's adorable little canvas bags and her Santas have decorated her home ever since.
I really admired her "Trudging Santa",  he is so simply styled yet you can see how he is struggling to carry the heavy bag and cumbersome tree. Red, gold, green, and navy have always been my favorite colors and his face has such a serious expression as if his efforts are of utmost importance. 

A couple of years later, George John carved another "Trudging Santa". It would have been way too expensive for Judy to purchase this as a gift, so instead, she ordered several of my Santas gourds to give to her family and friends as gifts.  With that money and a little extra cash, I was able to purchase my own "Trudging Santa". 

We never had a chance to meet this artist, or have I ever found anything about George John on the internet. He may have just whittled as a hobby and perhaps he created very few Santas.
"Trudging Santa" has always been on display in my home, he has a special shelf my brother made for me, and is flanked by two antique wooden candlesticks.  
Every time I look up at him, I think of Judy and all the fun we have had over the past twenty-seven years. Even though she's still in Texas and I live in Louisiana now, we keep in touch and in August this year, I spend almost two weeks with her. I just love her!

Now, I do have other Santas that were marked up as much, if not a higher price than I paid for him, but I bought them at after Christmas sales, etc.

Getting back to what I said at the begin, "I almost titled this post "My Most Valuable Santa" but VALUE really doesn't have as much to do with what I spent on it, it is more of what it means to me.". this Santa does indeed have a GREAT VALUE as a reminder of my very dear friend, Judy S. and all the good times we have shared.