As soon as the clock strikes midnight on November 1, it feels like the Halloween pumpkins and costumes disappear virtually overnight and give way to cornucopias, Christmas trees, and jingle bells in a flash. No one is more excited for the holiday season though than 84-year-old Anita B. Jones, whose self-proclaimed “Santa museum” it ready to go year-round.
Jones, a registered nurse in Huntsville, Alabama, boasts a Christmas ornament emporium of over 3,500 collectibles in her home — and she takes a lot of pride in showing them off. In fact, just a single Christmas tree of Santa ornaments can take her upwards of 40 hours to complete, and she’s got an entire wall-to-ceiling shelving unit filled with just Santa-themed salt and pepper shakers. And if you’re looking for standalone statuettes, cookie jars, or wall hangings, she’s got you covered on all of those fronts, too.
Jones’ love of decorative Santa Clauses started all the way back in 1955 when she got a small Santa bell one Christmas. While it may seem like an insignificant gesture, she was hooked. “I can’t stop buyin’ ’em,” she told Good Morning America. “I say I’m not gonna get anymore, but forget that!”
While Jones’ collection isn’t an official museum, she does allow people to “tour” when she feels like they’re struggling in their own lives. “I share my spirit because I’m a registered nurse for over 60 years, and when I hear of somebody who isn’t doing well…I call ’em and they go through my Santa Clauses and they cry and they go home and decorate their houses,” she explained. “It means a lot of me to share that kind of cheer. I’ll never stop — and my children won’t either.”
It’s an impressive haul, to say the least! Here’s to hoping we all get to visit the Santa museum someday, too.