Gwendolyn Headrick has about 150 Santa Claus items she has collected since the mid-1970s.

51 3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

(WBIR - Seymour) This Christmas a Seymour woman dealing with two illnesses in her family is finding some joy by showing off her extensive Santa Claus collection.

Gwendolyn Headrick started her Santa Claus collection in 1975. Her most recent Santa purchase was three weeks ago, when she bought a Santa sitting in a chair and holding a list (not sure if it's the naughty or nice list).

She said, "My first Christmas when I was a young adult, my first time away from home, I went to the Revco that was on Chapman Highway and Moody Avenue and bought three Santas."

One of those three now sits on the counter of Headrick's bathroom. That's because her living room is filled with singing Santas, dancing Santas, talking Santas, and just some really good-looking Santas.

There are 75 Santa Claus items sitting in Headrick's living room. That doesn't include the Santa ornaments hanging from her living room Christmas tree. As you head to a back room in the Headrick household, you'll find several more Santa. And there's a Santa delight in the kitchen.

Headrick doesn't know the exact number in her Santa collection, but said, "I would say between 130 - 150."

That number doesn't include the Santa decorations you'll find sitting outside Headrick's home in the front yard, as well as the backyard.

Headrick said, "Be honest, it's an obsession."

It's an "obsession" that brings great joy to a woman who is experiencing so much pain.

Headrick's husband is currently battling cancer and the couple's son, Sevierville Police Officer Ben Headrick, is recovering after being hospitalized in July 2013 due to a genetic abnormality.

Headrick said her theme is "Jesus is the reason for the season. Santa Claus is the magic." Headrick hopes Santa's magic will spread to everyone.

"I would really like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year," Headrick said.

For information on Officer Ben Headrick visit http://helpingben.com/

51 3 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.wbir.com/JWJyxc