We leave our Christmas decorations up until Jan. 6th...Epiphany. I do put some of the smaller decorations away and leave just the two trees and the Mangers. This morning as I was picking up some Santas, I came upon this one. He is very special. I made him years ago. We were really pinching pennys in those days and I was doing artwork...crafts to supplement our income. We scoured garage sales, looking for things for me to paint on...things that no one else would want. I painted on old saws, coffee pots, kettles, sleds, spoons, clay pots, tools, canes, barber straps, you name it. People started leaving boxes of old things at my doorstep. I was thankful and would paint something in the box and give it to them. My husband used to tell people..."Don't stand still too long...she will paint you." We saw Mrs. Butterworth bottles at so many sales. People were crafting with them...making dolls with them. I looked at them for a while and then started collecting them. By now the word got around our tiny town that I needed them...people started dropping off boxes of them. Large ones and the smaller sized ones. I didn't know what I would do with them, but I knew that I could figure something out. The idea came to me to make Santas out of them. I priced paper mache at the craft store and found it to be too expensive to do the 100 or so bottles. I had a food processor and a pile of newspaper and some wallpaper paste. I decided to experiment and starting ripping up small strips of our local newspaper. I was recycling and I was experimenting with something entirely new to me and at the time...no one else was making paper mache Santas. I had that food processor whirring in my kitchen making a slurry of the paper and paste. The bottles were lined up on the counter and I started applying the gooey mixture to the bottles and then started adding strips of paper to the sticky mess. I would form the shape of the Santas and after giving him arms...set him out on the deck to dry. The garage was full of them on the shelves. When they were completely dry, I would mix a very fine mixture of paper and paste and start sculpting their fur and beards. I would let them dry until they were very hard and then the fun began.....the painting. I could bring out the different characteristics of Santa with my brush. Some were serious and some were silly. Little black eyes, buttons and the tiniest of mittens. When they were just about finished...I would adorn them with wreaths, toy sacks, tiny trees, teddy bears..anything I could find that was small and Christmasy. After the Santas came snow men. I think that I made hundreds of them in those years. They were good sellers. This is the only one that I have left. A nice reminder of the times when things were tough and my crafting helped out.