The only thing that could improve your high tech Christmas display is a Santa sleigh direct from the 19th century!
We decorate our homes with the latest in LED lights. They’re synchronized by computer to our favorite Christmas carols. Not only can our displays be seen from other planets, but they sometimes remind viewers of a space ship. This is all very cool, but maybe we need to balance our displays with a nod to Christmas past. Let’s add a little influence reminiscent of Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas.
Our mission at Christmas Past Sleigh Company is to take sleighs that are over 100 years old and restore them to their original glory. In the process, we take some liberties, because deep down, every sleigh wants to be Santa’s sleigh.
The ultimate in recycling
We search throughout the country for old barn relics that haven’t seen the light of day in decades. Once a sleigh is acquired, we begin the restoration process. All metal braces are separated to have any rust removed. All wood is inspected for structural integrity. More often than not, some replacement is necessary. We only replace what we must to stay true to the antique quality of the sleigh. Consequently, their days of “dashing through the snow” are now past them. Taking into consideration wood and metal fatigue, there’s no way of predicting how much stress a 100 year old sleigh can handle.
Our goal is to create a beautiful antique “ornamental sleigh” for you to be proud of for many years to come. There is never any fiberglass or plastic used in our restorations.
Custom color, theme and use
Often the sleigh can be modified to suit a particular need. One customer wanted to use the sleigh as a Santa throne. Consequently, it required sufficient leg room for children to come and go as well as the strength to support constant climbing in and out.
Of course, the sleigh can be finished in any color or theme. We’ve finished sleighs to match barn colors, or corporate logos. We’ve supplied sleighs for indoor display where the fabric matches the drapery. We’ve supplied sleighs where the body is stained in the wood tone selected by the buyer.
One of our customers was a home and garden center. They decorate the sleigh we restored for them in the current holiday theme, whether it be Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
We are suppliers to the world’s largest Christmas store in Michigan. We’ve been told they sold one of our sleighs to a Hollywood studio.
Our sleighs are intended to be used seasonally outdoors. The fabric used is a light canvas as used on patio furniture. With proper handling, you will get many useful years from your sleigh. We supply a small quantity of touch up paint with every purchase, and also identify the source and description of the paint from a national supplier.
What does a sleigh cost?
Our sleighs are surprisingly affordable. Most selling prices typically range from $900 to $2,000.
If you’d like to try your hand at restoration, we can sell you a sleigh that has yet to be restored. Some are structurally sound and only require some sanding and painting.
Unless your sleigh requires custom colors or theme, there is no deposit required. We know Christmas people are the most honorable on Earth. We trust that you wouldn’t place an order that you aren’t serious about. We only ask that you take delivery as promised and pay in full upon delivery. We have this policy because we’re confident in our product and know that we will easily be able to resell the sleigh to another buyer.
If you don’t like the final product you are under no obligation to purchase the sleigh. As in our “no deposit” policy, we’re confident you’ll love our sleigh.
Restoring sleighs is a fun thing to do. It’s similar to the joy you get creating your display. It’s all about making people happy and maybe putting a smile on their face.
My wife and I, (37 years so far) have always put up a gigantic Christmas display. When I sold my “real” business eight years ago, I began restoring sleighs, first as a hobby and now as a business. We know
We know what it’s like during the Christmas season, to follow the weather forecast, and then have your mood be up or down based on what it is. We also know what it’s like to want to fall asleep at 10:30 watching TV, but your sign outside says the lights are on until 11:00, so you stay awake. When your parents took you out to see the neighborhood houses all lit up, did you say to yourself and your parents, “someday, I’ll do that.” Yes, we’re hooked.
How to order
It’s already late Spring. We’ll be able to restore 15-20 sleighs in the remaining time this year. Get on our schedule to be able to include your antique sleigh in this year’s display.
Call now to discuss what you’d like in a sleigh. We will provide pictures of our stock of unrestored sleighs. You can then choose the sleigh that best fits your needs. We’ll then agree on a price and begin the restoration process.
We’re located a little north of Philadelphia. Pick up is ideal, but in many cases delivery is possible for a fee. Give us a call and we can work out all the details.
Christmas Past Sleigh Co.
199 Folly Rd. Chalfont, PA 18914
This article was included in the Spring 2015 issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine.
By Ron Spering