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Santa’s Clauset


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Santa’s Helpers

Santa’s Clauset Spreads Holiday Cheer

Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

Tim and Peg Brettin, co-owners of Santa’s Clauset, say they enjoy spreading holiday cheer to the community, and look forward to the Christmas season.Santa’s Clauset

“We own the property for Santa’s Clauset,” Peg Brettin says. “We have an old farmhouse in the country consisting of 10 rooms, which includes two enclosed porches. The farmhouse belonged to my husband’s parents and family. There is old summer kitchen, a larger outbuilding, and three outdoor tents, also on the grounds, are part of Santa’s Clauset. We specialize in the Christmas season only. Usually we might have some late-fall business, but mainly Christmas. We start planning and decorating in June and/or July of every year, since it does take a while to make the magic happen.”

Santa’s Clauset started through a conversation Brettin had with friends.

“In 2005, five ladies and myself were discussing the empty farmhouse and what type of possibilities there could be to use it,” Brettin says. “Since we were all rather crafty and artistic, we thought, what better way to help our community than bringing Christmas to the community – by bringing an old house to life? We all had enough Christmas items to sell of our own, to get ourselves started.”

Brettin and her friends also wanted to help people.

“We knew that in the rural area of Starke and surrounding counties, there are families that are not able to spend a lot of money so they can enjoy Christmas, so why not provide them with good items?” Brettin says. “Why not offer handmade, vintage, refurbished and new items to those who are looking for a wonderful find, or a gift that people would like to afford? We have always been, and will continue to be, a Christian-based business.”

Brettin and her friends have enjoyed their work. “All of us had extra stuff in our homes to donate to our cause,” she says. “That was how we started. From there, we chose to give a portion of the funds collected to the Starke County scholarship fund. We worked with the Tri Kappa organization in Starke County, selling their pecans to assist in their fall campaign funding of scholarships as well.”

The business expanded from there.

“We began to grow,” Brettin says. “We really started with the old farmhouse, then the summer kitchen. After a couple more years we added the large outbuilding, and first one tent, and now we are at three large tents.”

Tim’s sister, Margaret Brettin Schuster, was instrumental in starting Santa’s Clauset.

“She passed away of cancer,” Brettin says. “Since that time, a scholarship in her name was established with the Starke County scholarship fund. All scholarship donations we receive throughout the year now are marked for her name. We give out scholarships to three or four county schools in her name from Santa’s Clauset.”

Customer purchases at the shop also help a high school student furthering his or her education.

“Here it is 2022, and we are beginning our 17th year of service to our community,” Brettin says. “We honor our beginning members who have passed away over the past 16 years with a lighted Christmas tree, all decorated with ornaments donated to us. The tree to the family is given to them by Santa’s Clauset for their service.”

Santa’s Clauset has a lot of different products and merchandise.

“We have unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone,” Brettin says. “We have antiques, vintage glassware, jewelry and collectibles. If you cannot find a certain item anywhere else, you might find it here. We have local homemade honey, jams, quilts, centerpieces, wreaths, goat-milk soaps, and lotions. We also have vendor lip balms, scrubs, sinus rubs, shower bombs, bath teas, all-natural soap bars, flavored ground coffees, and woodworking items. We have artificial Christmas trees and lights, and so much more.”

Brettin says every week there are many different items available for browsing and purchasing.

“Nearly all of our items are in reasonable price ranges,” Brettin says. “We have beautiful glassware, jewelry, outside decorations, and many homemade gifts and items. We would like everyone to shop locally and help others while doing so.”

Many of the products at Santa’s Clauset are continually popular.

Santa’s Clauset“We have beautiful seasonal arrangements, farmhouse decorations, ornaments, vintage linens, vintage decorations, books and some furniture,” Brettin says. “We also usually have fresh Georgia pecans on hand. There is something different every week. Every year we are always surprised at what our customers are looking for when shopping.”

Many loyal customers return every year to do their Christmas shopping.

“Some people come back each week since different items are added every week,” Brettin says. “Our customers do not want to miss anything. We do not expect our customers to make purchases, but we do want them to enjoy the memories that Santa’s Clauset brings them. You can see the memories they are making as they walk through the buildings and grounds. Some even get teary-eyed as they spend their time there shopping. They meet old friends and they make new friends.”

This year the shop will open one week later than usual.

“We open on Friday, November 18,” Brettin says. “Our schedule and times for the next five weekends are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. These hours are all Central Standard Time. Our last day will be December 18, 2022. You can find us at facebook.com/santasclausetinknox.”

Brettin adds that the internet connection is not optimal in the store area, and she does not accept credit cards. “We will take a check or cash,” she says. “We will help with a 24-hour hold.”

Santa’s Clauset has Christmas music throughout the grounds and inside, while customers browse and shop. “We also have hot chocolate, coffee samples, and you might find some popcorn too,” Brettin says.

Customers can also make donations. “If you have any Christmas items you would like to donate, see one of the Clauset associates and they can either help you or refer to someone who can,” Brettin says. “We do have room for storage. Items must be of a Christmas holiday origin, and clean and unbroken. Your items that are donated are designated and sold for our scholarship fund.”

Brettin encourages more visitors.

“Have you thought about getting a great Christmas picture of someone, or a family photo together?” Brettin says. “Come out to Santa’s Clauset and we will take it for you for free, or you can take your own. You will find, once you see us in the country setting, that you are in a magical place for certain.”

Brettin says Santa Claus will also visit. “We are expecting to see Santa on the last weekend,” she says. “Contact our Facebook page. We are hopeful to have a local musical artist visiting us that weekend too.”

Santa’s ClausetBrettin says the staff at Santa’s Clauset has been outstanding.

“I can’t forget to mention the associates who do all the work for Santa’s Clauset,” Brettin says. “They are our lifeline to all that is done getting ready, and during the time we are open.”

For more information on Santa’s Clauset, located at 7700 East Toto Road in Knox, call 574-772-3343.

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