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Joyful Christmas Memories (& Vintage Santa Postcards!)


Growing up, my favourite Christmases with extended family were always at my grandparents' house. Admittedly, I always loved the excitement of going to California (we lived on the east coast, but later moved there when I was a teenager). But actually being at their house, especially when it was filled with family, filled me with so much joy. The gorgeous tinsel draped tree with delightful vintage ornaments, the beautiful nativity display (always in pride of place), and the food...ohh the food! 


Photo of Jessica from the '80s, standing in front of her grandparents' Christmas tree

 My Gramps was a first generation American. His parents moved to America from Poland, so my Gram would include Polish food in some of their meals..especially at Christmas. On Christmas mornings my Gram would have a buffet of deliciousness ready for us. My favourites were kielbasa with scrambled eggs (my great-grandparents used to make their own kielbasa when he was a child - yum!), and poppy seed or walnut kolachi rolls.

After opening presents and other festivities, we'd snack on lots of other goodies until dinner, but one of my favourites was what we call half moons (technically rogaliki with a walnut filling). My Gram also kept treats like a dish of Andes mints, a couple of big Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars, and containers full of nuts, on the coffee table. It was a snacker's dream (so I was always a happy girl!).


A scrapbook opened to two vintage Christmas postcards from Santa's Kitchen, California. A spun cotton Santa sits in front along with candy canes and vintage Santa decorations.

Gramps used to travel for a job he once had in the 1950's, and would send Gram postcards from places he visited. He also apparently bought some just to keep.

After my Gramps and Gram had passed, I'm so glad that I came across this collection of postcards. It's now mine and it means the world to me! I keep them in a scrapbook for now and enjoy going through it.  A couple of my faves are from Santa's Kitchen in Santa Claus, California in the '50s. 

(Why oh why does Santa Claus, California no longer exist?!)

It was once a popular year-round Christmas themed roadside strip of merry stores and eateries (and a huge Santa that overlooked all the action!).  Unfortunately I'm blocked from accessing many websites that share more information (due to living in the UK), but if you're in the USA be sure to check some out. 

I did find this short video that gave a great overview, though..and has lots of the same wonderful photos!

A scrapbook opened to a vintage Christmas postcard from Santa's Kitchen, California. A spun cotton Santa peeks from below.

I'd love to know what was on the menu. Merry milkshakes? Santa sandwiches, Santa snacks? So many possibilities!

A scrapbook opened to a vintage Christmas postcard from Santa's Kitchen, California. A vintage Santa ornament sits above.

I love the A-frame building..and that sign is *swoon*!

The back of two vintage Christmas postcards from Santa's Kitchen, California. A vintage chenille Santa, bottle brush tree, and candy canes surround them.

The back of the both postcards say: 
 by the sea on 101 where all cars stop.

High above the picturesque wishing well and water wheel, a smiling Santa waves to all who visit his California Center. 

After far too many years without, I'm more than looking forward to a Christmas with my family this year (and yes, it'll include the same delicious goodies we used to enjoy!).

Do you have any fond memories from the holiday season? Have you ever been to, or know of Santa Claus, California? Do tell!

I wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, friends!




You can find my spun cotton Santa here

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