Christmas enthusiasts open their home to showcase their 6,000-strong collection of Santa Claus ornaments worth a staggering $115,000
- A family from Colorado will open their home to visitors to show off collection
- James Rahe,37, started collecting memorabilia aged 15 with his dad
- The couple have come under fire for their festive hobby and branded ‘crazy’
A family of Christmas enthusiasts have thrown open the doors to their home to showcase their collection of Santa Claus memorabilia worth more than $115,000 (£90,000).
James and Megan Rahe, from Colorado have thousands of figurines in the basement of their home, ranging from tiny coins and badges to 7ft tall Santas.
The Christmas-loving couple’s collection includes specially crafted pieces worth up to $5,500 (£4,340), tiny coat pins, and salt and pepper shakers.
‘Each year my wife and I buy at least 500 new Santas and it has no sign of slowing down any time soon,’ James, 37, said.
‘It’s a goal of ours to share our collection with other people, it would be nice to find somewhere to set up seasonally or build a museum.’
The Rahe family from Colorado has collected thousands of Santa Claus memorabilia over the years, and their collection is now worth over $115k (£90k). Pictured: James, second left, Megan, second right, with some young visitors after throwing open the doors to their house
James’ Christmas habit was started by his father Rodney (centre), although his grandfather appears to be the inspiration behind the hobby
The pair’s collection was first started by James’s father Rodney, 74, although his grandfather inspired the craze.
James said: ‘My granddad used to wear a Santa pin on his shirts during Christmas and my grandma would paint Santas onto plates, they were important pieces to my father.
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‘I got hooked through him, I bought a few in my teen years but it wasn’t until my mid-20s when we started going crazy buying them.’
However, over the last decade the family has taken the hobby to the extreme as they continue to expand their Santa Claus collection.
In the run-up to December 25, James claims to spend up to ten hours a week dusting, polishing, repairing and arranging the pieces to put on full view over the festive period.
The family keep the Santa Claus items in their basement, but will dust them off and put on display over the festive period
The family open their home up to visitors so they can enjoy the wonder of their Christmas collection in person. James said: ‘My granddad used to wear a Santa pin on his shirts during Christmas and my grandma would paint Santas onto plates, they were important pieces to my father’
The couple are nervous about showing off their collection in case anything gets broken. James, a warehouse manager, said: ‘Everyone who has laid eyes on the collection though finds it amazing’
In addition to at least two hours a week searching online auctions, estate sales, as well as flea markets, charity stores and more for new additions.
People have blasted the family as being ‘crazy’ because of their Christmas collection, and are left ‘flabbergasted’ upon seeing their masses of Santa Clauses.
James, a warehouse manager, said: ‘Everyone who has laid eyes on the collection though finds it amazing.
‘Anything Santa-related we have it down there – from salt and pepper shakers to pins, cake tins, cookie stampers, some nickel coins with Santa printed on them, and more.
The family will source their collectibles from flea markets and stores as well as at auctions. The couple have high hopes for their ever-expanding collection, as they have admitted their goal is to set up a museum to house their belongings
The collection includes major brands including Possible Dreams as well as over 50 more brands. The full horde currently takes over their 1,400 square foot basement
‘The largest ones we have are life-size up to seven feet tall and the smallest are probably figurines that are half an inch tall.
‘It’s an unusual thing to collect, so some people think it’s a bit out there and crazy.
‘For other people their eyes light up and they think it’s the coolest thing they have ever heard.
‘A lot of people are like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy’ when they see so many variations of Santa Claus, it seems to knock them back a couple of steps. From there on it’s just happiness and smiles.’
The couple have high hopes for their ever-expanding collection, as they have admitted their goal is to set up a museum to house their belongings as the full horde currently takes over their 1,400 square foot basement.
The family have come under fire from people who think their hobby is ‘crazy’, however the couple will continue to follow the tradition and continue to collect items
The collection includes everything from pin cushions, to Christmas tree decorations, life-sized Santa Claus figurines, and mats
James believes the collection helps to make him feel more festive but his main motivation is seeing the joy it brings to his father.
He added: ‘It makes my dad so happy to see our collection set-up and not stashed away in boxes. Every time he goes down there he has a permanent smile on his face looking at them all, especially as he forgets about some of them.
‘It makes me smile and has been a great bonding activity between my father and I. But the happiness it brings him is probably my number one drive for it though.
‘It makes me feel festive looking for the different Santas.’
James and Megan will buy over 500 new Santa Claus items each Christmas to expand their collection. Many of the pieces they source online from estate sales and auctions, but they also look through stores, flea markets and more where they can often pick up a bargain
The family will continue their tradition because they love to see the happiness on people’s faces when they see their impressive collection – especially James’ father
Among the collection he lists Harmony Kingdom, Possible Dreams, Lladro, Jim Shore, Pumpkin Seeds, Lynn Haney, Melody in Motiion, Lennox, Pipka, and more than 50 other makes.
Many of the pieces they source online from estate sales and auctions, but they also look through stores, flea markets and more where they can often pick up a bargain.
James admits it’s a worrying time opening the collection up for others to see, but he hopes it will be worth it to be able to spread the festive cheer with others.
He added: ‘It’s nerve-wracking but also exciting, you worry someone could touch or break something.
‘At the same time, I would rather it be enjoyed than kept away for very few eyes to see.’
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