This year will be the last year for a favorite Four State holiday tradition. The creator of the Belsnickles Santas says this will be her last year for an open house.
The reason — she’s been a victim of theft repeatedly. The thefts happened in the past year where she stored her collectibles for Christmas. Linda Lindquist Baldwin creates her santas and then stores them in anticipation for the holiday season. But now that her new Santas for this year have been taken, and she doesn’t have enough new edition Santa’s to sell.
“They had thrown things on the floor, and broken things. A lot of the boxes were damaged. They had walked on them and crunched them up,” says Linda Lindquist Baldwin, Belsnickle Creator.
The Belsnickle Santas that Linda Lindquist Baldwin had been storing for her 2018 open house were stolen and damaged. She says her storage unit was burglarized four times over the past 18 months.
“All of the things that I had plans for for several years to come with open house. They’re all gone now,” says Baldwin.
But this won’t be the end for the Belsnickles.
“I’m not retiring. That is not in my vocabulary,” says Baldwin.
Linda says she is adjusting how she sells them, so her local and overseas customers can continue collecting.
“So, I had to make the bittersweet decision, and a very bittersweet one, and I decided the most fair was to do the online that way everyone had an equal opportunity,” says Baldwin.
So, what all started with a book found in a garage sale 32 years ago will continue, just in a different way.
“This isn’t the last page in my Belsnickle book. I’m simply beginning a new chapter,” says Linda Lindquist Baldwin.
Linda’s 26th and final open house will be this Sunday at the Joplin Museum Complex from 2 to 4. And to find out more information you can go to her website, and we have a link to that here. She isn’t sure who broke into her storage facility and isn’t sure who took her beloved figurines, because she did not have cameras at the time. Thankfully, she tells me she has them now.