We all know Santa Claus.
Recognise his iconic red coat, large, bushy beard and somewhat jelly-like belly. His general address and the sound of his laugh. Bigger fans might even know the names of all his reindeer, and his favourite type of Scotch.
Less of us, however, know about his saintly predecessor, on which he was based – Saint Nicholas, historic Turkish bishop and revered Christian. St. Nick has been sealed in legend for the charitable things that he was fabled to do – such as dropping a bag of gold coins down a poor girl’s chimney, which was then caught by her drying stockings next to the fire (how the traditional ‘Christmas stocking’ was born).
Yes – Santa Claus was based on, arguably, a real man. A real, bonafide do-gooder. Which got us to thinking (being the decorating obsessives that we are) –
If St. Nick were around today, what would his house be like?
Based on traditional Turkish style, we have a few ideas. Gorgeous, mottled pendent lighting and candles everywhere, flickering light up against deep, rich colours. Mosaic tile patterns on the walls and eclectic decorations propped up on elevated surfaces. Gorgeous food smells emanating from his kitchen, perfuming the hallways (maybe some nice, roasted turkey?).
Nothing says Christmas more than warm, glowing candlelight.
Comforting throws scattered everywhere, and a cosy armchair, covered in Turkish prints. A circular table with mirrored, mosaic sides, where he could sit and sift through his Inbox (he’d simply have to go digital, considering how popular he’s become as ‘Santa’).
And let’s not forget – he’d be bound to have some mighty fine Turkish rugs.
Were it up to us, we’d layer his festive abode with the likes of this Afghan Turkoman or Antique Turkish Oushak Carpet – both of which would’ve contrasted gorgeously with a pine-y, emerald tree. This lovely Anatolian Kilim also has a certain seasonal panache all its own, inspiring images of mulled wine and rosy cheeks.
Oh, St. Nick. If only you were around. We have so many ideas for you. We’ll just have to live vicariously through our Turkish-style loving customers, instead.