Black Santa is in the building! Just in the, uh, Nick of time.

His arrival has been much anticipated. Too many people to count have written, called, or stopped me during the last several weeks to ask when the Black Santas would be decorating my office. And I’ve had to remind them that my Black Santas never arrive until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

You see, I am loath to rush the Christmas season. Nobody loves the music, the lights, the ornaments and everything that is holiday season-related more than me. (And, full confession, I broke down and watched a couple of the no-plot, always-happy-ending holiday movies right before Turkey Day.) But I save the real Christmas movies like "A Christmas Carol" for watching during the official holiday time. I truly enjoy my Black Santas during the short time they populate my office and home because they only make an appearance during the few weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Then, back to their boxes until next year.

But they’re here now, in all their red-and-white coat, white beard splendor. My nearly-as-tall-as-me Black Santa is standing in my living room, along with another one just a few feet shorter. In my office, I’m really excited to show off old favorites and more recent additions to my eclectic collection — everything from the small Black Santa Claus ornaments, the Black Santa embroidered stocking on the wall, the large Black Santa face hanging on my door, and the myriad other Santas who are tall, short, fat, skinny, made of cloth, ceramic, and wood. Two of my newest are gifts: From my good friend, a bendable Black Santa who sits on the edge of my desk, and from my sister Jean — the queen of scouting unique Santas — a tall fellow whose hand painted wood coat is flecked with silver and whose bushy white eyebrows stand out against his deep brown face. It’s actually hard for me to find a Santa worthy of adding to my collection. I almost missed my latest find. He was stuck behind a bunch of holiday decorations crammed on a shelf. His chubby face stared out at me from beneath a gnome-like, bright red ceramic hat, his hands behind his back, his coat stretched to cover his protruding tummy. I love him!

I may be the only obsessed Black Santa collector in the vicinity of WGBH, but I’ve discovered a community of collectors — where else? — on the internet. Louise Johnson shows off her vast collection in a video with the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" blasting in the background. Johnson claimed 325 unique Black Santas at the time of the posting. I gotta say, she owns some envy-inspiring pieces, especially the life-sized large Santas who move to music. I’ve also discovered more than dozen or so Pinterest boards featuring Black Santa ornaments and figurines. By the way, the producers of the 2015 movie "Paper Towns" claimed to have gathered more than 1,000 Black Santas for the film.

Meanwhile, kids of all races are embracing real life Black Santas all across the country. Four years ago, Santa Larry made a big splash as the first black Santa at Minneapolis’ Mall of America. He now makes regular appearances for the event booking company, The Santa Experience. And last year, which highlights news about African Americans, built an interactive map pinpointing the locations of St. Nicks of Color.

I’m elated that Black Santas seem to be plentiful again after a few years, when I barely saw a one — even as I know some may see this Black Santa enthusiasm as odd or unnecessary. Santa is Santa, right? Yes and no. Representation matters, even in fun, fictional characters — maybe especially in fun, fictional characters. Whether in the shopping center, or standing tall on my desk and living room, Black Santa is here to stay, and I couldn’t be happier.