Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Day in Paradise

Yesterday, we went to see Santa Claus.  No. Really.   Grab a cuppa or a bowla and get comfy . . . let's go see Santa Claus . . .

Did you know that Santa, Jr. resides in North America?  Pennsylvania, to be exact.  Think real hard, and I bet you can guess the name of his town . . . Paradise.  Makes sense that Santa Jr. could be found in Paradise, Pennsylvania, doesn't it? 

Here it is; here's where the magic of your childhood Christmases resides.  In an effort to preserve the innocence and excitement of childhood Christmases, Santa Jr. has made a museum of all the wonderful Christmas items he has amassed over his long, magical life, and he shares them with us, here, at The National Christmas Center.  

Tell me, how far would you travel to visit your childhood again?  If you can, run -- don't walk -- to this magical place. 

Okay, ready?  Got your cuppa and get settled . . .

See that familiar image above?  That is the famous Coca Cola scene . . . Santa at the mantle, reading his note, while excited children look on (see them, behind the tree?), a bottle of Coke on the mantle all the while.  Looks like a picture, doesn't it?  Well, it isn't.  It's life-size here, and it's real.  Peer through a window and see into a house decorated in the true 1950s style -- bubble lights, plastic ornaments, even the chrome dinette set in the kitchen.  The t.v. in the corner blares with the Howdie Doodie Show . . . the Christmas episodes, of course.  Maybe you really can go home again.

Remember lying under the Christmas tree when you were a child?  Remember when you thought nothing of sliding right underneath the boughs to look up at all the lights and decorations?  You can do it again!  This time, with no creaks in your back or aching knees . . . because you're standing!  The whole room is oversize scale, making you feel like you're a wee one again . . . and you're right under the Christmas tree -- which covers almost the entire ceiling of the enormous room -- mesmerized by the lights, the decorations, the moving trains, and the unmistakable hi-fi sound of Christmas tunes on vinyl.

See the brown trunk in the middle?  The branches coming out from there?  You really do feel like a kid again.

Did you know that Woolworth's was the first retail store in America to carry Christmas decorations?  Well, it was.  And do you know which of them was the very, very first?  The one in Pennsylvania.  Well, as you can imagine, Santa Jr. has a special place in his heart for Woolworth's and pays special homage to the establishment with a room he has stuffed and stocked and decorated to replicate just how that first Christmas in Woolworth's must have looked.


Only 10 cents?  I'll take them all!

A feast for the eyes!

Care for a candy?

The trees with the bubble lights are hard to find.  My husband and I devoted years to affording one and finding one . . . and here they used to sit en mass.  Amazing to see.

What does your dolly need?

My favorite thing in the world to shop for might be vintage Christmas items . . . this room just fills me with joy.

However, it's time to move on . . . Santa does encourage sharing, after all.

There is a walk through a little fairy tale as thought up by Santa Jr., himself.  As you might expect, it's cute as a button and brings home the real meaning of Christmas.


A sheep after my own heart.

If ever there was a Christmas turtle . . .

But, lest you get caught up in all the Santa regalia and glitz of Christmas, the most important matters are. indeed, addressed before you leave.  In life-size, yet astonishing detail . . . 

The look on this wise man's face brought me goosebumps, but, alas, the camera failed to truly capture it.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual trip to The National Christmas Center.   I know I did.  My heart is rejuvenated with the fun and the spirit and the meaning of Christmas, and in that spirit, I make this fervent Christmas wish:

May we, one and all, 
find what we are seeking this Christmas.

Love and joy to you all.


Anonymous said...

My Grandparents had one of those red elves!

This has nothing to do with your blog, but I just wanted to let you know I had a dream about your family a couple days ago. You were all just as wonderful in my dream as I've pictured you to be in real life! Your son was still a nature lover in my dream, and he impressed us all!

Merry Christmas!


Oh, and I'm making your ginger cookies this week. I can hardly wait!!!

June said...

Pure magic!!! I just knew he was real and living in Paradise.


Wow! That was a wonderful tour! Thanks for taking us along. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I wanna go there! How about if you and I meet up and go together?

Oh, I can just imagine looking up into the tree with the lights twinkling! I think I'm going to go lay down under my tree right now and see how that feels!! LOL

Thanks so much for sharing 'Paradise and Santa, Jr.


MiniMadWoman said...

Renee' what a marvelous post! Oh I had such a good time and now I'm exhausted! LOL!!

I just loved everything and now I have to put a visit to this wonderful place on my list. And those 10 cent elves? Buy me one would ya? LOL!! I remember those or something very close to them as a kid . . . loved 'em!

Thanks so much for sharing all this wonderfulness . . . I'm renewed!


XUE said...

Wow! I think I will go nuts here & never want to leave! I love Penn so this is another reason to love it more! Christmas is extra special for us as we got married in NYC, on Christmas Eve, when we used to live in NYC!!!

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