When the reindeer herd arrived in front of the store in the beginning of December this year, many of you asked who made them, where did they come from and what their story was! Well, here is the history! You may remember my (Mare) Dad, Hans H. L. Hustedt, who was the craftsman builder of our spectacular dollhouses, barns, outhouses and furnishings. Dad was the quintessential handyman with many skills. He spent most of his life as a stone and brick mason but also did some time as a sailor, roof thatcher, farmer and whatever else came along in the early half of the 20th century in Germany! Once he "retired" to build a home in upstate New York, he completed the new house and started building on a smaller scale for us, his kids! Once we all had one of his masterpieces, he started to look around for something else to master! Doing my best to keep him out of Mom's hair, I tried to find other things for him to build that we could sell at Impressions. One of the results was the first herd of reindeer that arrived in Saratoga near Thanksgiving in around 2000. Each year Dad would harvest wood from his firewood pile, pulling out what looked right for deer legs, bodies and antlers. Dad used to build 12 Mommas, 12 Dads and 12 Babies which were always in high demand and usually gone way before Christmas Eve. Once Dad hit 91, Dave (co-owner of Impressions) helped Dad continue the tradition, teaching the art to his friends Doug, Scott, and Hans along the way. Dad passed away this past summer at age 93 and in his memory, the "boys" crafted a limited number of white birch Daddy deer with trophy worthy racks!!! There are only 2 left as I sit here today to write this blog and if they don't sell, they will go home to live with Dad's original herd that was my gift from Dad that first Christmas! We all love you and miss you Dad. Merry Christmas!