collecting international santas

I have assiduously avoided collectibles. I did not want to have to dust one more thing, nor did I want to increase the number of items I had to tell little ones, “Don’t touch!”
I was doing pretty well at my vow to remain free of valuable, untouchable collectibles until last year’s after Christmas sales. I found a shelf of 5-inch resin Santa Clauses dressed as they are portrayed in countries around the world. Each came with a miniature copy for hanging on the tree. I was intrigued but as I said, I don’t like to dust.
I didn’t even consider buying them until I saw the Irish Santa Claus in Kelly green. I love Kelly green. I wanted a Santa Claus in Kelly green. Then I saw the American Santa Claus in cherry red and the Polish Santa in blue holding a star. Before I knew it I had stacked up 10 boxes of Santa Clauses with miniature replicas for hanging on the tree.
I took them home, unwrapped the bubble wrap and admired my purchases. They were perfect. I re-wrapped them and put them up to help decorate this Christmas. Last month the resin miniatures enhanced the tree while their larger twins lined a shelf.
I did not plan to buy any more Santa Clauses this year, really. Then shortly after Christmas we happened to be shopping near a store that carried them. I meandered in to check out this year’s choices.
The shop had a few marked down Santa Clauses. I wasn’t planning on buying any until I saw a perfect little girl dressed in a shiny white dress, carrying a tray of decorated cookies as she balanced a crown of candles on her head: The Swedish gift bearer.
Holding a boxed Swedish gift girl, I noticed a jolly old Saint Nick from Brazil in shorts, pushing a wheel barrel of toys. He was so amusing I decided I wanted one. Then I saw the one from Japan with two faces. The Japanese Santa Claus has eyes in the back of his head to watch children all the time. I left the store with eight more figurines. A few days later we happened across another shop with Santa Clauses from around the world and I added another four to the troop.
With 22 Santa Clauses lined up, I began wondering ho many more there were. I found the website of the company that makes them and a letter from a woman who said she would pay an obscene price for a Star Man from Poland to get one for her father who was from Poland.
I wondered what was an obscene price. I thought I was splurging when I spent $5 for mine.
I couldn’t decide which I wanted more, a blue-robed Santa Claus to decorate my shelf or whatever obscene price the woman would be willing to pay.
While I debated, I was reminded hat all sorts of collectibles are sold on the Internet auction site: E-bay. I logged on and searched for Santa Clauses.
Since I purchased the Santas to amuse me and decorate the house, I never should have looked. Bids for the Star Man from Poland were at $45, nine times what I spent on the one collecting dust.
I’m still deciding which I prefer: Cash to clear a couple inches on the shelf or a colorful trinket. I haven’t quite decided, but if I ever need cash …