A Visit To Santa

Day 19 - Santa Claus Cottage Watercolor - Doodlewash

When I was a little kid, I remember visiting Santa Claus each year. Though I imagined he lived in a cute little storybook cottage like this one, it turned out he instead lived inside a shopping mall. Or, at least that’s what I assumed until my mother assured me that Santa was “just visiting.” I remember always being disappointed that Santa showed up like a celebrity signing autographs, there for a few photo ops before returned to the North Pole. Waiting in a line is a horrible and tedious experience as an adult, but as a child it’s excruciatingly painful. And the entire time my little child brain wanted to scream, “why did you come HERE!?” I would have much preferred a visit to that magical house I imagined in my dreams. Mrs. Claus would make us some cookies, because as far I knew Santa didn’t know how to cook, and we’d all sit down and enjoy them with some steaming mugs of hot chocolate. That experience never happened so each year we went to the mall instead. The first year was fine, but in the subsequent years, it was alarming how much Santa had changed. We all go through various changes as we age, of course, but Santa would morph into different people entirely. In an effort to riddle out the mystery, I simply assumed this must surely be to hide his true identity.

Those trips were short-lived, not because I stop believing, but because I never really liked sitting on people. It’s an awkward and uncomfortable experience. I grew taller rather quickly and so that didn’t help matters in the least. I was certain that had I simply been invited over to the Claus home as a guest, I wouldn’t have been asked to sit on anyone. They would have provided a lovely wooden chair or something equally charming to accommodate me. So, as ever, the world I imagined was far grander than the reality I was able to experience. This also applies to today’s doodlewash in that it’s one of those buildings you might find in a Christmas village display. I’ve always wanted one of those displays where you collect little houses and shops to add to the scene. Each year, we see them in shops and I long to have one. But, I wisely decline. We don’t have room for each a couple houses, much less the entire town I would ultimately collect were I ever to start. So, I just enjoy the displays in stores each year instead.

What I love about those little scenes is that they are always depictions of a notably simpler time. A time when people lit candles and read books instead of worrying if there was an available plug to charge their phone while attending a party. I grew up during a time when technology was growing up with me. And I love having a knowledge of what life was like back when phones had cords and weren’t always in a pocket ready to distract someone. Marvelous inventions, indeed, making life so much easier to do all of the things we never even knew we needed to do in the first place. Yet, little cottages like these are still so appealing to people of all ages. It’s comforting to see them and, who knows, perhaps one day I might still get that village set of my own. I think it’s a gift to be reminded of simpler times. And, I’m thrilled that even today I can remember them and enjoy them in my imagination. Better yet, I can even travel to that dinner party that never happened and experience a magical and proper visit to Santa.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 19 - Santa Claus Cottage Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I wonder if anyone has ever set up a bed & breakfast Santa’s cottage so people can ‘visit’ Santa’s house? Having had that thought I had to google it. Did you know that there is a place called Santa Claus, Indiana? But they’re advertising Santa’s lakeside cottages. That just doesn’t scan right! And their cottages are not nearly as charming as yours. This requires further searching.

  2. Mireya 4 years ago

    You remind me of Santa’s Village thanks!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Aww thanks, Mireya! 😃💕That’s the coolest compliment EVER!

      • Mireya 4 years ago


  3. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Everything about this is adorable. I love the style and the colors. I was lucky enough to visit Santa in a little candyland factory(maybe that’s why I love candy!) in the parking lot of a shopping center (before they were called malls too). He always had lots of presents around him, but he never handed those out. ??? When I took my son to see Santa, they did not have presents around him, just poinsettias. Hmmm?? Oh, I was always told those were Santas’ helpers and that’s why there were different ones. 😉 Boy you are stirring up some deep memories. Lol

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Wait, so Santa’s helpers were only poinsettias??! What the what!? LOL And yeah, what was up with all of those wrapped gifts that he never managed to give us when we visited!! I’m telling you what I want… just hand it to me… NOW! lol

      • LoriCtoo 4 years ago

        Lol, no, not the poinsettias. The Santa at the shopping center was the real Santa’s helper. That’s how come there were so many around town. They probably don’t put packages around Santa anymore because it is probably considered some form of abuse. As far as the packages he was hoarding….most Santa’s were in an actual store, where they had endless supplies of toys. It just wasn’t nice. (I guess that is why they don’t do it anymore, I am 56 and it still bothers me…..hahahahaah!)

  4. Lisa 4 years ago

    I am surprised by the fact that I don’t remember a single Santa visit. I was a shy little thing, and most likely would have cried if forced to sit on the old man’s lap. And maybe we didn’t even go to see Santa. My father would have hated the whole thing and my mother wasn’t much into that sort of thing either. Instead of taking us kids to tiwn, she probably told my dad to watch the kids so she could shop without us and really get some things done. Plus, we didn’t have a lot of money, so they probably didn’t want to set up too many expectations. That’s all in hindsight because I didn’t feel poor. I had all the Barbies and troll dolls I needed. Plus we had giant cardboard boxes in the basement with which to build forts. That counts for a lot!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Hehe!! I grew up the same way! Never had much money, but never felt poor at all! 😃💕 Looking back, this was the best gift my parents ever gave me! And seriously…. cardboard boxes??? What child needs anything else to be happy??! hehe

  5. Snehlata Maheshwari 4 years ago

    Mindblouing house. Very beautiful

  6. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Lovely cottage. Even today, I’d like to sit down with Santa for a cup of hot chocolate!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yay! Yeah, I think sitting down with Santa and Mrs. Claus would still be the best thing ever! That’s why I still adore Christmas!

  7. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says, “Better yet, I can even travel to that dinner party that never happened and experience a magical and proper visit to Santa.”

    I think when one loses that ability, they have truly become disgustingly and irrevocably damaged.

    I’m with you about waiting in lines…maybe for a really super movie but never for an event that lasts one tenth the time of the standing in line.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      So true!! 😃💕 I think when we lose the ability to not just think like a child but even just BE a child every now and again, we’ve lost the most important gift in life. And yeah, life is certainly way too short to ever wait in a line! hehe

  8. “I never really liked sitting on people,” absolutely. My mother took me once to a Santa in a department store and I cried, staring into his fake beard and scruffy old red suit! A very happy Christmas to you both (and don’t sit on anyone you don’t know…).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      haha! Yay, Michael! Thrilled to hear I’m no alone there! 😃💕 Sitting on Santa was not a great experience, but believing in all of the stories surrounding him was! I hope you and yours have a very Happy Christmas!

  9. June Hadaway 4 years ago

    A dear little “Claus” cottage and so welcoming. The Santa Claus in my youth always came to visit outside the penny candy store to hand out oranges straight from Florida along with candy canes. All the town folk gathered around and sang Christmas carols next to the big tractor trailor truck that brought in the oranges. I think the driver of that truck was favored as much as Santa. Great memories of those days. Merry Christmas to you, Philippe and Phineas!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks!! Aww those are perfectly wonderful memories, June! 😃💕 Oranges? Healthy and Yum! Sounds fantastic! And I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

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