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Black Santa collection began on a whim 25 years ago. Now it brings ‘absolute joy’ to DeSoto woman

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

Growing up poor, Pat Jenkins Hamilton said there were years Santa did not visit their home.
Pat Hamilton
Pat Hamilton photographed at her home with some of her extensive Christmas display of Black Santas in DeSoto. Hamilton, a retired school administrator, calls her front entryway her Hall of Black Santas that is the beginning of the collection of about 500 Black Santas everywhere in the house.(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)

By Sarah Bahari

Pat Jenkins Hamilton had not even considered a Black Santa Claus. Then in 1996, Hamilton came across a Black Santa, igniting a 25-year hobby and collection of the displays.

Hamilton told WFAA Channel 8 that she hunts for Black Santa year-round. Her DeSoto home is full of some 500 Black Santa that ride bicycles, skateboard, climb ladders and store cookies. She even has a twerking Santa.

She calls her home’s front entryway: The Hall of Black Santas.

Hamilton, a retired school administrator, said she usually starts creating her Santa displays in October and doesn’t feel rushed to take them down after Christmas.


Growing up poor and the oldest of five children, Hamilton said she did not receive any Christmas gifts some years.

“I would see how much joy my friends would have,” she told Channel 8. “I couldn’t share in their joy because I didn’t have that joy, so now my Santas bring me joy. They bring me absolute joy.”

Hamilton said she hopes her collection brings others joy, as well.

“This is not for everybody,” she said. “You have to genuinely love Christmas and love the idea of Santa, and to me, Santa represents giving because that’s what Santa does.”

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