Hallmark sat down with Tom Best to discuss his Santa Claus ornament which coordinates with the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition ornament designed by every artist in the Keepsake Studio.

Tom Best

Tom began, “well you asked for dirt dug up on this Santa fella, so here goes…😊

As with many projects in the Keepsake Studio, it takes a team of talented artists to design and develop an ornament from start to finish. Tom described, “this ornament was truly a collaboration. In the planning phase, we knew we wanted Santa to be a companion to the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition fireplace ornament. We decided we would model our Santa off Tracy Larsen’s 2019 Keepsake Ornament Club Convention ornament, Santa and His Reindeer. We used the same long decorative coat style Tracy did.

Tom then went on to describe, “the ornament then started life as a whimsical little sketch by Kris Gaughran. From there, it was tasked to me to use that sketch as a starting point and take it to finish.

During this process, Tom mentioned of his artistry, “in my representation, I made Santa a bit more realistic to better match the style of the Santa’s Next Stop fireplace.” That ornament had already been completed by the time Tom was working on his Santa Claus.

Anita Marra Rogers led the design concept and art direction for the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition ornament, so she provided the color palette direction based on the colors used for the fireplace as well. Once he had the color palette ready to go, Tom used the fireplace to scale Santa’s overall height and size.

As Tom was designing the Santa Claus, he said he had a goal in mind. “One thing I had said from the beginning was that Santa, though an ornament, had to be able stand on his own.” Tom mentioned this as he knew many collectors would set this ornament on a table or mantle. Santa has ample feet and boots to help him do just that.

Did you notice something special about Santa’s pose? Tom informed us that Santa is actually eating a Christmas cookie from the plate on the fireplace mantle of the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition ornament!

Tom finished, “sometimes it takes a ‘Keepsakes Village’ to produce an ornament. In this case, it literally took a Village to produce the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition and a handful of us Villagers to then produce the cookie crumbing Saint Nick.

What do you think? Will be you be adding Santa to your collection when he releases at the Trim the Tree event? Reminder, KOC members get early access to shop the event in-store on November 30!

Check out more details or add Santa Claus to your Wish List here.

See the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition ornament here.

Creating Santa Claus

Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. “Behind the scenes with Tom Best’s Santa Claus!” Keepsake Ornament Club Facebook Page, November 24, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/groups/KOCMembers/posts/2966337070272964/