GRAPEVINE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - May of us spent quarantine picking up new hobbies. But a Grapevine father is raising thousands of dollars this Christmas season, using Santa decorations -- and lots of them -- to grab people's attention.
"I spend time on the internet... kind of just dreaming and just buying more and more Santa's," said Louie Murillo, owner of Grapevine Santa House.
You read that right. Murillo has bought between 500-1,000 light up Santa decorations for his yard.
In the Murillo family, planning the yearly Christmas card is something of a sport. It starts with hiring photographers in the summer.
This year's theme was supposed to be Santa, but things quickly escalated.
"The next thing you know packages were arriving one to three a day... then four to five a day, before you know it we would have ten packages at the doorstep," said Murillo. "It started out as just a house with a few Santa's in my mind… and then it kind of just exploded."
That's when he thought, he might as well take it to the extreme and have his decorations, do some good.
In the maze of Santa's around the yard, are signs that direct visitors to GrapevineSantaHouse.com. The website connects to a GoFundMe where they can donate to the Grace Christmas Cottage Program.
His original goal was to help 80 kids and raise $10,000. But when he beat it, he decided to up the goal to $15,000 and 120 kids.
"One-hundred percent of what everybody gives, goes to Grace," Murillo said.
The Grace Christmas Cottage raises money for Christmas gifts for kids who are in need.
"We have a responsibility," Murillo said. "Yes this is a great house and we have Santa's and lots of people come and look. But we have been blessed abundantly and so we have to make sure that we use that influence to bless others."
Murillo tells CBS 11 News that so far, the Grace Christmas Cottage has seen a 25% increase in need this year. He said having a few hundred Santa's spread the word, seemed fitting.
"We all need hope right now. We need something to believe in. If I can be a part of that and my family can be a part of it, then I want to do it. That's how I want to spend my energy," Murillo said.
Their house is located on the 3000 block of Spruce Lane in Grapevine. They do ask if you stop by to take pictures or donate, that you stay socially distant.
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