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'Santa lives here': Desoto woman hopes massive Black Santa collection brings joy to others

Old Saint Nick's home away from the North Pole might just be in Desoto with a woman who lives and breathes Christmas all year.

DESOTO, Texas — Everyone has something they like to do for fun.

"I try to buy fun pieces, the larger pieces I like for them to look as real as possible," said Pat Jenkins Hamilton, who collects Black Santas year-round. "I buy whimsical pieces, so there’s something here that interests everyone.”

The retired educator has been stocking up on Black Santas for the past 25 years.

"My current occupation is retired with plenty to do," Pat jokingly said.

She said she's always on the hunt for Santas 24/7, 365 days a year. 

"I had never seen a Black Santa, had never even thought about owning a Black Santa, any Santa for that matter," she said. 

That's until one day in 1996, when she attended a conference and found what would become her lifelong passion. 

"From that moment on, I started looking and found two and I was overjoyed," Pat said. "I called everybody I knew and said I got a Black Santa."

While she usually starts creating the massive displays in October, she says she's never in a rush to take them down because Santa lives in her home every day of the year. 

"I really didn’t have a deadline, until you phoned, then I had to finish it up," she said.

Just about every where you look, there is another Father Christmas.  

That means if you’re Santa-Claus-trophobic, you might want to skip Saint Nick’s home away from the North Pole. 

There are ones that skate, sleep, climb ladders, store cookies and even a twerking Santa.

Her reason for this massive display of Christmas spirit -- much deeper than the beautiful displays in her home. 

"Growing up poor, we were po’, let me say that," she said. "When I look back at where I started from, I think back to the Christmas's that I received no gifts as the oldest of 5 children."

It's one of the reasons why she says she's always like the ideas of Santa's giving. The joy that he brings to others. 

"I would see how much joy my friends would have," Pat said of her childhood. "I couldn’t share in their joy because I didn’t have that joy, so now my Santas bring me joy, they bring me absolute joy.”

And that’s the joy she hopes to spread to others who see this collection.  

"This is not for everybody," she said. "You have to genuinely love Christmas and love the idea of Santa, and to me, Santa represents giving because that’s what Santa does. Santa gives and I just enjoy the symbolism of it.”


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