My dad was a police officer in Newark, NJ. For many of his years on the force he worked in the Emergency Squad division. During the long hours between calls the guys would keep themselves busy in various ways, like cooking. Near the Christmas holidays they always came up with a special project, like candle making for instance.
In 1956 they made Santa’s. I still have ours. Santa stands about 3 and 1/2 feet tall and is made from press board. After the outline was drawn the guys cut out the Santa’s and my dad set to work drawing the features, clothing and bag of toys. At that point our Santa came home and my mother and I painted him. I’m not sure how many coats of paint we used but Santa was spread out on our kitchen table for about a week before he was completely dry. I don’t know what kind of paint we used either but here it is 54 years later and he’s not chipped or faded. This was the only time I ever remember the three of us doing a family project together.
I love everything about this Santa, even the buttons being on the wrong side… but the thing I love the most is that he looks like my dad… a self portrait so to speak.
Here’s to Christmas memories.