Christmas in St. Michaels ORNAMENT RELEASE
Event: Christmas in St. Michaels ORNAMENT RELEASE
Description: 2019 Christmas in St. Michaels Ornament Now Available
Christmas in St. Michaels has announced the introduction of its 16th annual collector’s Christmas ornament, available now in local shops and online.
This year’s ornament celebrates the much-loved St. Michaels Santa and Mrs. Claus and was designed by local artist Joanne Buritsch.
St. Michaels residents Tom & Abby Campi have brought the magic of Christmas to town for the last 21 years. Every year, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the end of the Christmas parade, riding in their antique one-horse sleigh, officially kicking off the holiday season in St. Michaels.
They didn’t audition for the role. Shortly after moving to St. Michaels from New Jersey, Tom met a man on the street and commented on how much he looked like Santa Claus. The man said he had been the Christmas in St. Michaels Santa for several years but was moving away and the committee was searching for a replacement. Tom mentioned that he had been Santa for thirty years in his hometown in New Jersey. The deal was quickly sealed, although it also required the services of Mrs. Claus and Abby joined the team.
It seems there must be a Santa gene. At a Campi family reunion some years ago, Tom was out in a boat with two cousins he hadn’t seen in some time, one from Georgia and one from Indiana. Their conversation uncovered the surprising fact that both of them also portray Santa in their home towns, and with the same enthusiasm.
Many distinctive touches make the St. Michaels Santa unique. The sleigh was an impulse purchase Abby made at an estate sale. It is an authentic one-horse sleigh from the early 1900s. Over the years it has been hitched to a variety of vehicles for parades – a borrowed truck, an antique firetruck, a tractor and, more recently, an SUV. (Sadly, no reindeer.)
Their costumes have been lovingly assembled. Santa’s suit was professionally tailored by a New Jersey costume maker and inspired by a Russian Santa Claus. Red silk velvet and Mongolian fur enrich its look. What you usually can’t see are the Santa Claus shirt buttons and the bright green reindeer suspenders.
Mrs. Claus’s costume is a replica of an 1800s skating costume. It was designed and made by Mrs. Claus herself and includes a white blouse with lace yoke, a green silk velvet skirt and jacket with maribou trim and a bonnet with trim that matches Santa’s costume. Outside, she wears a Forstman wool coat with beaver cuffs and collar.
Their carved wooden walking sticks were found at a shop in Vermont and Tom will tell you with a twinkle in his eye, “The power of Santa is in that stick — do you feel it?” Believe!
During the Christmas in St. Michaels weekend, children can have Breakfast with Santa just prior to the parade and later in the afternoon, sit on his lap at Santa’s Wonderland to share their Xmas lists and receive a souvenir photo.
Tom Campi has watched a generation of St. Michaels children go from sitting on his lap to, now, bringing their own children for a visit. He has a special knack for eliciting unique stories the children willingly share with him. He recalls one small boy who requested a “dumpster” for Christmas. Santa asked if he meant a dump truck, but the child was insistent; he wanted a Dumpster. When Santa asked what he would do with it, the child responded, “I’m going to clean up the world.” He can go on for hours with wonderful stories about the children he has met – children of all ages who continue to inspire his own inner Santa.
The Christmas in St. Michaels ornament was first produced in 2004 and a unique image has followed every year since. Previous year’s ornaments are available online at christmasinstmichaels.org. All ornaments are priced at $20.00
The 2019 ornament is available at these local St. Michaels shops:
All Pets Veterinary Hospital
Broken Rudder Sportswear
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Store
Chesapeake Bay Outfitters
Chesapeake Trading Company
Pemberton Pharmacy & Gifts – St Michaels
Shore United Bank – St Michaels
St. Michaels Harbour Inn Marina and Spa
St. Michaels Pet Supplies
The Christmas Shop
These local businesses generously sell our ornament and receive no profit from it. All proceeds from Christmas in St. Michaels collector’s ornaments support local nonprofit organizations whose work enriches the community. The ornament is also for sale at the St. Michaels Farmer’s Market through October.
Christmas in St. Michaels is held annually on the second weekend in December, this year on December 13 – 15. The mission of Christmas in St. Michaels is to provide resources to help local non-profit groups enhance the quality of life for the residents of the Bay Hundred community. In 1987 a group of energetic volunteers recognized the need for day care services in the community. A daycare center was established and, since that time, this annual fund-raising weekend event has raised more than $1,400,000 for local, non-profit organizations. For 33 years, funds raised have benefited local citizens of all ages.
Christmas in St. Michaels, PO Box 873, St. Michaels, MD 21663 PH: 410-745-0745