Whether you call him jolly St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, or plain old Santa, chances are that Nancy Laier has heard and seen them all. Through the years, she's collected nearly 5,000 different versions of the jolly man in the red suit. Nancy doesn't buy too many anymore, but friends and family always stop by with new ones.
"It was easy for them to buy me Christmas gifts because they could buy Santas for me," Nancey said.
There's hula hoop Santa...Santa riding a scooter...and he even has time to play some jazz. The Santa craze began in 1966 when Nancy entered a drawing at a Pizza Hut in North
Platte. She put in her son's name and won this stuffed Santa Claus. Ever since, the reindeer have known where to stop.
"I like to make Santas, too. I make them out of all kinds of different things."
She's repaired hundreds of Santas and made some from unusual items like shotgun shells, hooves, and a pig ear. The collection fills the entire house with different themed rooms: Santa with animals, Santa with kids, and Mr. Claus on horseback to name a few.
"She's kind of helped put Eustis on the map. There are a lot of people who remember coming to Eustis and remember visiting the Santa lady and the Santa Lady's collection," said Nancy's daughter, Christel Smith.
And you better not pout and better not cry because both Nancy and Santa have a watchful eye.
"Little kids don't bother things. I tell them when they come in the door that I don't play with their toys when I visit them and they don't play with my toys when they visit here," Nancy said.
Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. Stop by Nancy Laier's home for 5,000 reasons to believe.
Nancy unpacks the upstairs Santas beginning in November and she takes them down on February 1st. The basement Santas stay on display throughout the year. She will give tours of her home and over 300 people visited her last year.