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Much More Than Santas At University Park 'Santa House'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Unwilling to settle for any old display, Wayne Smith set out to do Christmas decorations a little different.

"I'm an antique collector, and I thought of these plastic blow molds that they started making in the late 1940s, early 1950s, and nobody out here had any of those," said Smith, the owner of the so-called Santa House. "And when I start to collect things, I kind of go crazy."

Wayne Smith shows off his "Santa House" in University Park
Wayne Smith shows off his "Santa House" in University Park (CBS 11)

Seven years and more than 700 figures later, his front lawn has become a destination.

" I always get a question from a lot of the kids, 'Why do you have so many Santa Clauses?' I tell them, 'I try to be good all year, but sometimes I don't make it. I don't want Santa Claus to miss my house when he's flying over on Christmas Eve," he said.

Smith and his team scour flea markets and the internet, searching for the perfect yearly additions.

"If it's cool or unusual or if it plugs in or lights up, it's probably going to make it in my yard," he said. "During the day it looks like a plastic factory exploded, but at night it looks really nice."

The centerpiece?

"Big Tex's head, that's his original head that debuted at the State Fair of Texas in 1952, and they used this one for about 5 or 6 years," Smith said.

For many, the Santa House has become as much a holiday tradition as sitting on his knee.

"Where else are you going to get a manger, Kip's Big Boy, and Santa? It's right here," said neighbor Lisa Bedford.

And though it means a seasonal traffic jam and an expensive electric bill, Smith said the smiles make it worth it.

"It seems to make everybody happy. And with the way things are nowadays, we need something to make up all happy. And most people love Christmas, so it's just a great time."

If you want to check it out, the address is, 3629 Southwestern Blvd in University Park.

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