By Reg Chapman

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Since 1995, Rodney and Nancy Brown’s house in Inver Grove Heights has been known as “Santa’s House.”

The elaborate lights display is coming to an end as the Browns plan on selling everything they’ve displayed in their yard over the years in a garage and yard sale. WCCO’s Reg Chapman went to see what Christmas in May will look like.

For Nancy Brown, building a tribute to Christmas has been something she and her husband, Santa Rodney, have done since they married.

“He married me in 1995. I had one snowman one Santa and one nativity set in a little house in St. Paul Park and every year, more, more, more and more,” Nancy Brown said.

Eventually “Santa’s House” would turn into an elaborate display of lights, inflatables and nativity scenes. Now, the Brown’s are calling it quits and selling everything they’ve collected over the years.

This is emotional for Nancy and her husband Rodney. There are many moments both will miss.

“The babies that come, their eyes are open wide to see the lights,” Nancy said. “The adults, when they look at the displays, they say ‘Oh I had that when I was a child.'”

Nancy says her neighbors won’t miss the traffic jams caused by people driving by to see the display. Her list of what she won’t miss is actually pretty short.

“The wind, the rain, the snow and standing outside every single night between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Nancy said.

The Brown’s are proud of many adds onto the display over the years, like their tribute to the military, police and firefighters. The hard part was going through every item and figuring out a selling price.

Part of it’s looking on Ebay part of it’s checking other garage sale items. Part of it’s what we paid for it and what we value it at and part of it is what we want to keep, which is nothing,” Nancy said.

The Brown’s are comforted, knowing what brought joy to so many for so many years will now live on in other parts of Minnesota.

“People who are buying the stuff can continue the tradition and have people still see many of our items,” Nancy said.

The sale is held at 8450 Ann Marie Trail in Inver Grove Heights. It begins Monday and runs until June 3. You can buy items between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day.


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