inspired

“I Believe in Santa”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)

“Christmas festivals are a tradition in Savannah and the surrounding areas. Celebrating the holiday season goes on for weeks with dance groups, arts and crafts, live music, food, dazzling displays on land and on water, and a glorious lighted Christmas parade. Of course, all good Christmas parades end with the arrival of Santa, which is why it’s the perfect ending for my book.

I believe in Santa Claus. Do you? When my son was little, he said, “I want to be Santa when I grow up.” He meant it. When he grew older he wanted to make toys with his father, who does beautiful woodworking of handcrafted instruments. I told him that when he was big enough to fill out the suit we’d buy him a professional Santa uniform. For him it’d be more than a costume, as he would be using it to work a vocation.

But even if he never really follows through with making toys and delivering them to children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities (to bring happy childhood memories to our oldest generation), or any other group who would feel loved by receiving an unconditional gift, it warms my heart to know that he has a passion for making others happy. And that’s all it takes to believe in Santa.

As we build our lives here in Savannah, I know we are in a special place, where people do still believe in goodness, tradition, and the importance of community. Here in the Deep South we may not have snow for Santa to park his sleigh, but if he knocks on the front door he’ll be let in, offered sweet tea or coffee, and given a plate of peach cookies. He’ll find a fully decked Christmas tree to leave his pile of goodies, but we won’t let him go without accepting a gift from us in return.”

I Believe in Santa oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119