PLATTSBURGH — A life-size talking Santa Claus, spinning Christmas tree and 12-foot wreath are among the many decorations that adorn Sherman and Jackie Luck’s home, inside and out, every holiday season.
“You haven’t got to be crazy, but it helps,” Mr. Luck, 76, said while examining the wreath that nearly touched the ceiling of the family’s tool shed, waiting to be hung outside.
For nearly 50 years, the Lucks have transformed their home at 145 Broad St. into a Christmas museum of sorts, displaying ornaments and decorations of all shapes, sizes and origins.
Garland is strung along the fence in front of the house, leading to a Christmas-lights-covered mailbox that opens mechanically to reveal a letter to Santa.
A group of reindeer pilots a miniature hot-air balloon in the yard while, farther up, Santa crouches near the bottom of the chimney.
With the flick of a switch, Santa begins to climb, bag of toys in hand. After dark, he is lit by a single spotlight that turns off when he climbs back down, giving the illusion that the mechanical man has dropped down the chimney.
The Lucks have lived there since 1959. They began their decorating tradition in 1965, for their daughter, Nicole, who was 3 that year.
Since then, they have used their frequent travels to add to a growing collection of decorations, whether they landed in Hawaii, Alaska, St. Louis or Massachusetts.
Along the way, the Lucks have made it a habit to always stop at one particular destination.
“Every time I see a Christmas shop, I’m in there,” Mr. Luck said.
It was while visiting Marlborough, Mass., in 1998 that he found one of his favorite Christmas decorations: a set of Huey, Dewey, Louie and Donald Duck tree ornaments. The four-piece set cost nearly $1,000, but Mr. Luck said he appreciates the value in owning collector-item ornaments.