A wooden Danish Santa for X-mas


With his paternal attitude, unyielding optimism and mantra that good design should be personal, warm and lively, Kay Bojesen could never be described as stiff as wood, quite the contrary! And yet, throughout his life, wood was his preferred medium, and the breadth of Kay Bojesen’s work is vast: from puffins and songbirds to rabbits and cool monkeys.


This autumn, Kay Bojesen Denmark added another member to the design family with the relaunch of his original wooden Santa from the 1940s, complete with bag and walking stick.

Dogs, elephants, hippos, puffins, songbirds, bears, monkeys, rabbits and rocking horses… Kay Bojesen is especially known and loved for his menagerie of wooden animals in all shapes and colours, while his creativity gave life to much more than just four-legged creatures. In as early as 1942, Kay Bojesen created the colourful Royal Guardsmen, with their drums, flags and rifles, which stand at attention in many Danish homes, and when he created the wooden Santa in the 1940s, his inspiration clearly came from the painted guard.

Kay Bojesen’s grandchildren clearly remember how their grandfather’s home and shop in Bredgade in the centre of Copenhagen were filled with these wooden Santas during the merry holiday season, and how Bojesen generously gave the figurines away to children and the young at heart among his customers. And now that Kay’s Santa has been put into production, everyone has the chance to acquire one of these jolly figurines, which are bound to find their way under this year’s Christmas tree…



“Santa Kay” with a bag of toys

Kay Bojesen’s wooden figurines are famous all over the world for their unique combination of playfulness and design. His naivistic designs are free from superfluous shapes, but with plenty of heart and humour in the craftsmanship, and a wooden Danish Santa for X-mas is no exception. With his grey beard and plump belly, “Santa Kay” peeks out from under his red hat with a cheerful sparkle in his eye, while his hands grasp a walking stick and a bag of toys for all the nice little boys and girls, and maybe even their naughty friends…

The bag is a modern addition to Kay Bojesen’s original design, which can be filled with Christmas treats or little gifts as part of the holiday decorations. Or it can hold an extra present for the recipient of the Santa, because everyone knows that good things often come in small packages.


Another fun detail is that Santa Kay can be seen as a preliminary study for Kay Bojesen’s most famous design, The Monkey, which saw the light of day in 1951 and features the exact same body and construction as the wooden man in the red suit. Now that’s a real Christmas story!

Source: Rosendahl Design Group A/S