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When it was first introduced in 1988, the Santa on Pig was an instant favorite because of the quirky obscurity of Santa riding a pig. The truth behind the matter, however, is it’s not as random as it may first appear. Anyone familiar with designer, Judi Vaillancourt, knows that she is inspired by traditions, folklore, and history, which is why the Santa on a Pig is the perfect piece for both those who like quirky and those who are reminded of their own family’s traditions.
The Santa on a Pig is, in part, inspired by the Tomtenisse which is the Scandinavian gift giver, bearing a striking resemblance to the Father Christmas. This mythological creature, which is likened to a garden gnome, protects both children and animals from evil and is often seen helping with chores. Like Santa, Tomtenisse hands out presents and, accordingly to folklore, is often seen with a pig. In the Vaillancourt Folk Art tradition, this gift giver’s feet are tired and has chosen to ride the pig while delivering presents.
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