Wagswoofs – Shirley Todd, a 95-year-old resident of Welsh, has an immense love for Christmas and an even greater affection for Santa Claus.
In Todd’s living room, her vast collection of Santa figurines, statues, bells, salt and pepper shakers, mugs, cookie jars, and various other collectibles is proudly showcased every year. With over 100 items, Todd’s festive display brings the holiday spirit to life.
The collection mostly consists of Santas, but you can also find the occasional snowman, angel, or Nativity scene in the display.
Outside the front door, a plastic lighted Santa stands, giving a glimpse of what awaits inside.
In 1976, Todd began her collection of Santa memorabilia when her daughter-in-law, Terri, gifted her a ceramic Santa and Mrs. Claus for Christmas.
She not only kept the pair but also expanded her collection.
Todd gazed at her collection and remarked, “In the last 10 years, I’ve acquired quite a few. I used to have just a few, but now I have collected quite a remarkable number.”
The collection features a wide range of Santas, including Old World Santas from various parts of the world as well as more contemporary versions.
A wide variety of materials are used to create these figurines, including ceramic, wood, plastic, glass, and more. Each figurine has its own unique style and tone, with some portraying serious subjects while others have a more whimsical and playful feel.
There are various ways in which people contribute to the cause. Some individuals carry bags filled with toys, while others ring bells or drive cars to support the initiative.
Her living room is filled with an abundance of table tops and shelves.
Putting out the decorations takes her half a day, but it takes her even longer when she doesn’t have any help.
Todd explained that the process of setting up the display usually involves a well-organized assembly line. He mentioned that they start by placing the boxes on the couch, and then he personally unwraps them before passing them on to someone else who arranges them. Todd emphasized that putting up all the boxes can be quite a task.
Todd is uncertain about the reasons behind her decision to start the collection or what initially drew her to the Santas.
“I simply started collecting them without any particular reason,” she mused. “I suppose they just resonate with me in some way. The vast array of varieties available never ceases to amaze me.”
One of her favorite items from the collection is a cowboy Santa she acquired during a trip to Branson, Mo., approximately four or five years ago.
“I couldn’t find a cowboy Santa anywhere, and since I really wanted one, I knew I had to get him as soon as I saw him,” she explained.
The most unusual item in her collection, according to her, is a wooden 1909 Poland Santa.
She collects her Santas from the places she visits and receives them as gifts from friends and family. She often finds great deals on unique Santas at local thrift stores.
“When I used to travel and visit various places, I would always come across these souvenirs,” she explained. “I have collected some from Branson, Beaumont, and other locations. Additionally, people have also gifted me with snow globes as Christmas and birthday presents.”
This year, she has already added three new Santas to her collection.
“I used to think I had enough Christmas decorations, but now I find myself adding more every year,” she admitted. “Whenever someone gifts me a new ornament, I can’t bring myself to say no or turn it away.”
According to Todd, the Santas bring joy and happiness to her and many others.
“I really enjoy having these dolls and it brings me joy to see children come and admire them,” she expressed. “The kids are absolutely fascinated by them. I have three young girls living next door and they often come over to sit on the couch and simply gaze at the dolls.”
While working at her house, she had recently asked an appliance repairman and his son to capture videos of the collection.
According to the source, she mentioned that those who typically enjoy visiting the place are individuals with young children or grandchildren.
The kissing Santa and Mrs. Claus are beloved by everyone, and there are actually two sets of them.
Ramona Peoples, a close friend of the recipient, expressed her fascination with the collection of Santa Claus figurines. She found it peculiar that out of the numerous Santas received, only three sets were identical.
Todd is a Santa Claus enthusiast who has a collection of Santa Claus memorabilia, regardless of their size or age.
Todd admitted that she has always been a firm believer in Santa Claus since her childhood. She finds it amusing that she continues to hold on to this belief.
“I always believed in Santa because I learned that if I didn’t believe, I wouldn’t receive anything,” she shared.
Christmas has always held a special place in Todd’s family, she shared.
“I absolutely adore Christmas,” she exclaimed with a nostalgic smile. “It brings back cherished memories of my childhood, when my parents and grandparents were still with us. Our home would transform into a magical wonderland during this time of year. We would venture into the woods to find the perfect live tree, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation. Despite not having much, we always made sure to have a beautiful Christmas tree. Perhaps that’s why Christmas holds such a special place in my heart.”
Todd carried on several of her family’s cherished Christmas customs with her own family. One tradition that held special significance was the focus on the Nativity scene.
“When my children were young, I always made it a priority to set up the Nativity scene before anything else during the Christmas season,” she fondly recalls. “I would explain to them that before we could decorate the tree or add any other festive embellishments, it was important to focus on the true essence of Christmas – the Nativity scene. I wanted my children to understand that Christmas went beyond the jolly figure of Santa Claus.”
The situation remains the same even now.
A Nativity scene music box was given to her by a friend last Christmas.
After Christmas, Todd takes down the collection and starts the process of packing them away once more.
She keeps them neatly organized in boxes, carefully tucked away in three closets throughout her house.