A very jolly Santa Claus obsession

Updated: 2010-12-21 10:42


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It began with an innocent legacy from an elderly aunt, when she bequeathed Jean-Guy Laquerre an early 20th-century paper-mache Santa Claus figure two decades ago.

But with the passage of time a nascent fascination with all things Christmas has turned into an obsession for the retired teacher, who has now won himself a place in the record books.

"It awakened the child in me," said Laquerre, with a twinkle in his eye looking around at his collection, describing his unusual yuletide fixation as "Santaphilia", a term he coined himself.

"I started my collection in 1988. Over the past 22 years, I've accumulated 25,139 Santa baubles," he said proudly, with a chuckle.

Every year as yuletide approaches he methodically unpacks his figurines and collections from their boxes to deck his modest home in eastern Ontario province in Canada.

"I can't stop myself entirely, but I do restrain my urges. I surprise myself when I go into a store and I don't buy any new ones," confessed Laquerre, who bears more than just a passing resemblance to his No 1 hero, with his white moustache, round cheeks and red Christmas hat.

But then he added with a regretful air, "it's because I just don't have any more room for more figurines".

Santa Claus figures whirl from the ceiling, others poke out red-cheeked and jolly-faced from the back of sofas; there are Santa tableclothes, cushions and blankets; dancing Santas, and Santa albums and from an earlier era, 1940s posters advertising Santa smoking cigarettes.

Every room, every nook and cranny is plastered with the decorations, even the bathroom, which is resplendent with a Father Christmas toilet-seat cover, and boxes of Santa tissues.

"It's just a small obsession," Laquerre said coyly, before breaking into a deep belly laugh as he surveyed his treasures.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

A very jolly Santa Claus obsession

About the broadcaster:

A very jolly Santa Claus obsession

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.


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