The other week when I wrote a Saturday Teatime Tale about a Santa mug collectors' convention, Michele asked what my inspiration was for that story, and of course it was these mugs. Although I can't find that such a thing actually exists, I do wish there was a collectors' group so I could learn more about them. I don't believe any of mine are really valuable, but of course they hold lots of sentimental value for me. This one is what I consider the "classic" Santa mug, definitely the most common style and one I often see at Goodwill and antique stores. When I see these marked $10 or so, I think, "Good luck," because most of mine were 25 and 50 cents!
I believe this is one of the mugs that actually began the collection. One day, my friend and co-worker Nichole heard me say how cute I thought the Santa mugs were in the window of the antique store across from the office where we worked. She bought me two of them that year, and the collection took off from there!
Last year, Margaret in Canada surprised me with this one, one of the nicer, larger mugs in the collection. His yellow and black striped handle makes me think of my elementary school mascot, the Buchanan Yellow Jacket!
Santa mugs don't often have a backstamp, although sometimes I'll find a sticker still attached. Several years ago, another thoughtful blog reader sent me these two mini Santa mugs, and she left the 50-cent price tag on because she knew that would make me happy. It did!
What also made me happy was the fact these two had the Holt-Howard sticker and the year 1960 on them. So they're older than I am! The best information I have found so far tells me that Santa mugs were popular in the fifties and sixties. (I'm still researching, so if you ever come across an old advertisement for Santa mugs, please let me know!)
And while I'm very thrifty with my Santa mug collecting and don't just have to have every Santa mug I find, I must say I am charmed when I find one that is different from the others I have. This little guy was 99 cents at a Goodwill in Smyrna on Saturday, and he is what they call a "winking" Santa mug since one eye is closed. He also looks a little cross-eyed to me, but still, I think he has character. And yes, I do drink tea out of my Santa mugs, because there's no law that says you have to use them only for cocoa. Do any of you have any Santa mugs? I'd love to hear about them!