I began working for my current employer in 2008 as a temporary employee (later hired full time in 2010). I was lucky enough that in that time frame, I was granted the ability to do my internship for my Master’s degree at the same company. They worked with me to make the work I was doing there applicable to my degree, which I felt was absolutely amazing. (I just don’t feel that many employers would do this for their employees).
During my internship, I met a lady I’ll call J. J is a fantastic person. She genuinely made coming to work fun. When going to school full time, working full time, doing a full time internship and being a mother full time gets you down, J can pick you right up.
Christmas time came around and J put out her holiday decor – as large a display she could fit on her cubicle cabinet. The primary focus of her display were these adorable little Santa figurines (image here shows several of the earlier Santa series figurines).
Aren’t they absolutely adorable?
When I saw them I knew they were some sort of a set or series even though each Santa is his unique design. She told me that another person at the same company hand makes these ornaments. I was just shocked! They are a shining example of “hand made doesn’t have to look homemade.” Each one is just spectacular and the detail is absolutely amazing. I thought she was joking around – but each are signed with the year.
We shall call the artist S (it would be J too, but J and S have the exact same initials so I need to mix it up a bit *laughs*)
Apparently, S has done this little ornament tradition for the last 20 years (this year included), but since he did miss a year, there are only 19 Santa ornaments out there. And I found out that if they are broke, lost, or stolen – you are basically out of luck. They don’t get replaced.
Well, I worked with S too and was hoping to get one – but what she told me next shocked me a bit more: He only makes 20-25 a year. Now, I don’t know if that’s for just his coworkers and he makes more for family and personal friends OR if its 20-25 total a year – but regardless, I knew then that getting on the list was practically impossible. I worked with S on a big project and I wasn’t on the list that year, why on Earth would I make the list later on.
I don’t know – but this year I came to work and there was a little red bag on my desk. I didn’t know who gave me what, but getting a little surprise at the start of your work day can sure put a smile on your face. I opened it up and wow… I was so surprised! A Santa. He’s a little cupcake this year, which is absolutely adorable.
I ran over to S’s desk and warned him I was going to hug him (I am NOT a hugger). He did not understand the response to the Santa and honestly, why should I expect him to? He, along with pretty much everyone in this company, have no idea what a sentimental schmuck I am. I’m a big sissy for sentiment. The idea that he made this Santa special for me and that he truly took time out of his day(s) to make these… well – it got me.
I have no idea if I’ll make the list next year, but I know that every time I look at my little cupcake Santa I will feel special and valued. He has a special spot on my mantle shelf and will be stored with genuine care, enjoyed year to year – because that’s the time of sissy schmuck I am.