2023 Tree – Undercover Santa
The 2023 tree was 4 feet tall and packed with 150 handmade wooden ornaments. As usual, we have club members select whatever patterns and techniques they want to carve and decorate their ornaments. Additional pieces were contributed by the Zumbro Valley Woodturners and a couple other carving clubs in the region. This resulted in a wonderful variety.
Individual Santas along with a number of accessories were spread below the tree with the theme Santa Goes Undercover. The tree was topped with Santa in his classic red robe.
Undercover Santa and how he got under our tree
One of Santa’s secrets is how he creates the “Naughty and Nice List” – sometimes he goes undercover in various disguises. We have actually spied him a number of times and have confirmed at least 15 identities that he and Mrs. Claus use. From lifeguard to mailman to sports coaches to the snowy slopes, they get to see and interact with children all over the place. Some reports say that Mrs. Claus really enjoys going undercover as a hockey coach – “Tweeeet!”
We gave descriptions and photos along with blocks of wood to various club members. They then carved small statues of Santa to use under our tree. The sign on the table had a list of the 15 disguises. Each Santa was given a numbered post to match the disguise listed on the poster. But after they were placed on the table, we found that there were 16 Santas there. Santa had magically added another one under our tree! Can you find the 16th Santa?
(This undercover theme came from a book, Carving Undercover Santas, written by club member Russell Scott. He offered to carve one of the Santas for us and did it by creating a new design – Mrs. Claus as a hockey coach.)
The Santa tree topper is a Judy Gale Roberts design, one of the top intarsia people in the world. While intarsia pieces generally fit on a flat background, she calls this design “intarsia in the round” since it can be viewed from all sides. It has 34 separate pieces that are cut to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Then they are carved to give it an overall shape as well as letting some pieces stand out in front of other pieces. This Santa can also be used as a separate decoration or center piece.
Tom has done a wonderful job photographing our tree and its assembly again this year. His photo album can be seen here: 2023 Festival of Trees Photos
Russell Scott created a video about our tree taken at the Festival. It includes a segment filmed at our November club meeting with closeups of the Santas. It also includes a peak at the new Whittling Shack in Rochester. 2023 Festival of Trees Video
Hiawatha Homes again has placed our tree and decorations on a raffle, with tickets being sold during the Festival. The raffle brought in $2,540 for Hiawatha Homes.