Vintage Santa is comprised of several cultures.
Like, Saint Nicholas, a 4th century Greek bishop known for his generous gift giving to the poor. There was 16th century England's Father Christmas, who brought the party with festivities and merriment.
My personal favorite, Bavaria's Kris Kringle! What I like about Kris Kringle is that he is partnered with Krampus! Krampus has hooves and horns and a body covered with hair. Good boys and girls get Kringle, the bad ones get Krampus! Krampus feels that the threat of a gift of coal isn't enough for behavior modification, so he carries a switch and whip's up some corporal punishment or worse.
Pieces of these traditions immigrated to America. When New York's Clement Clarke Moore's 1822 poem "An Account of a visit from St Nicholas" was introduced it helped shape the image of the rooftop jumping gift giver we know of today.
Vintage Santa Collecting
Collecting vintage Santa is really broad. With so many types, you can narrow a collection of vintage Santa down into so many different categories. There are a TON of possibilities!
100 years or older Santa Claus. Prior to 1916. What could you hunt for? Postcards, ornaments, figures and store display. antique postcards are also where you will most likely find Krampus images.
Santa made in Germany was popular in the early 1900's and the craftsmanship and artisans who created them were second to none. Paper mache was a popular material. Delicate blown glass ornaments, candy containers and so much more. Collecting Christmas antiques or vintage made in Germany is a solid investment.
Santa vintage Ornaments
From glass ornaments to cloth or narrow it down by era or both! You could collect Santas made with a pinecone. How about 1960's modernist ornaments? There are actually pretty tough to find and I always pick up Midcentury when I can. How about felt Santa ornaments? I think you get the picture. Possibilities are endless.
Santa mugs are everywhere. Excellent condition is a must. Some are cold painted over the pottery others are colored under the glaze. Mid century sets of pitchers and Santa mugs are my favorite.
The holidays are coming fast!,
PS - My favorite website about collecting Christmas is The Golden Glow. They know so much and are so passionate, check them out. AND---