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Santas Galore in Lebanon Couple's Home - abc27 WHTM

Santas Galore in Lebanon Couple's Home

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From just the outside of their Lebanon home, you know the Ruffners love Santa Claus.

But step inside and you know they believe!

"We started it around 30 years ago," said Jim Ruffner. "Then we really got into it when we came here to this house, which was about 15 years ago."

It's an annual labor of love for Jim and Carol Ruffner. Setting up and displaying more than 2-thousand santas and santa images throughout their home.

"The Santas have to have a certain type of face," said Jim, explaining the kind of Santa images they collect. " A certain type of look. They have to have some meaning."

Making our way down a stairway lined with Santas, I asked Carol if they have a game plan when they start their layout.

"No, we really don't," she said. "Basically, we start here in the living room and from there we just branch out to the rest of the house."

And Carol means the rest of the house. There are Santas or Santa images verywhere you look, everywhere you eat, everywhere you sit and everywhere you sleep. There are santa's in all sizes and shapes, made from just about anything.

"This ground up pecan shells poured into a mold, then hand painted," explained Jim, pointing to a wood-like Santa figurine.

"You have to be a little crazy to do this, that's for sure," added Carol. "Not everyone is into Christmas like we are. But, we enjoy it."

Among the many santa images, there are reminders of the Ruffner's spiritual side. A blending of their fun with santa with a foundation of faith. Several areas highlighted Santa with the traditional Nativity Scene.

And their love of Santa doesn't end with collecting. It travels with them when they appear as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

"We go to a lot of these parties and a lot of people really enjoy Santa," said Jim, pointing to pictures of their many personal appearances. "Whether they're children, or whether they're adults."

The Ruffners keep their display up through early February, often hosting open-house charity fund raisers so others can enjoy their pride and joy.

"They're almost like our kids. Except many kids," joked Carol, pointing to a roomful of Santa statues, dolls and puzzles.

As videojournalist Mike Torchia and I drove away, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, in complete costume, waved heartily from their door and wished us a Merry Christmas. And it was!

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