Christmas Collectables

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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In my 32 years at Keloland I guess I did stories on just about every kind of collection you can imagine.
From caps, cars, tractors, (both real and toy) beer cans, dolls, Elvis, Avon, trains (both real and toy)McDonalds stuff, Vikings stuff, Packers stuff, clocks, dishes, pheasant feathers, outhouses, barbed wire and hundreds of other things.
But it was always during this time of year when I would get the most calls from folks insisting I come by and take a look at their amazing collection of Christmas-related objects.
 
I’ll bet I’ve seen more Nativity scene collections than anyone.
The same goes for Santa Claus stuff.…houses filled to the rafters with Santas from life-size ones that talk, sing and go ho, ho, ho. to little salt and pepper Santas brought out to season the lutefisk.
A couple in Brandon had the largest collection of snowmen figures on display that I’d ever seen..over a thousand with a few hundred more still in boxes.
 
Sharon Larson who lives with her husband, Don, on a farm near Brookings, spends weeks getting her house ready for the holidays. She has dozens and dozens (I can’t remember the exact number) of full size Christmas trees throughout their home.
These aren’t just little trees stuck in a corner with a few twinkle lights on them either.
Each one is elaborately and beautifully decorated.
I asked if such extravagance was to somehow make up for not having a tree when she was a kid..but she said, no, I just love Christmas and can’t seem to get enough of it.
 
That was pretty much the same reason another Brookings-area family gave when I did the story on their Christmas tree collection…well over 100 of them throughout their modest farm home.
 
In fact, my final Lund at Large story last December was on a Christmas collection in Larchwood.A few of Brad’s 3,200 Christmas collectables
Brad DeWit couldn’t wait to show me his basement that, at last count, contained roughly 15 hundred Santas, 11 hundred snowmen, 84 Nativity scenes and 500 miscellaneous Christmas related pieces.
He keeps them up year round and has to budget considerable time to keep them all dusted.
He also has to constantly warn parents of little kids who come to see his collection to make sure they look..but don’t touch!”
 
Five years ago I did a story on the Santa bear collection of Linda and my good friend, Joanie Graves.
She has managed to get one of these Christmas-theme bears every year since they were first issued by Daytons in 1984.
Both Marshall Fields and then Macy’s carried on the Santa bear tradition but this year Macy’s said 2007 would be the end of them.
The last Santa Bear issueJoanie, in a bit of a panic, dragged her husband, Denny, out of bed at 4 a.m. on Black Friday figuring that should be early enough to guarantee a purchase.
But as the line into Macy’s inched forward, the lady just in front of Joan got the last one.
 
It was a tearful, cold, quiet ride home..in the dark.. empty-handed.
 
There’s good news, though, Joanie.
That lady in front of you and apparently a lot of others are using their good fortune in getting a Santa bear to make a little extra holiday cash.
There are several now up for sale on e-bay for about triple what it would have cost had your spot in line been a little closer to the door.
Ah, the spirit of Christmas.Anyone else out there know of an impressive Christmas collection I might have missed over the years?

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