Rural Nebraska woman collects 9,000-plus Santa items in home


EUSTIS, Neb. (AP) — A western Nebraska woman is known in her small town as “The Santa Lady” because she’s collected more than 9,000 items related to jolly old Saint Nick over 50-plus years.

The North Platte Telegraph reports that Santa items fill both floors and every room, including the bathrooms, of Nancy Laier’s home in Eustis, a village of about 370 people about 165 miles west of Lincoln. She gives tours of her home — but asks that visitors call in advance to make sure she’s home.

Many items are life-sized, while others are minatures. A lot are animated and produce various sounds.

“I don’t let them run all the time because I use lots of batteries,” Laier said with a laugh.

One shelf has several musical Santas and “I’m trying to get them all to play the same song at the same time, but they don’t do that.”

Laier said she began her collection sometime in the 1960s, when the first Pizza Hut restaurant came to North Platte, about 50 miles to the northwest. She said it had a drawing for a Santa doll; she entered her infant son, and he won.

She said she found a lot of items when others threw them away.