Family really is what has drawn Gillam to Christmas through the years. She said she has no specific reason for her massive Christmas collection. Only, “I just love Christmas,” she said. “I don’t know what it is about.”
She remembers celebrating when her two children were younger with her husband, Bob, who died in 1994.
“Christmas was always our favorite time of year,” she said.
A love of Christmas and tradition is what led to Karen and Bob Gienko’s collection, also featured in the upcoming event. The Gienkos’ display includes a Christmas village – “We’ve got a little bit of Bedford Falls, a carnival, the Dickens village. All of my houses light up,” Karen Gienko said.
A train travels through the display and nearby Santas, elves, dolls, angels, poinsettias, moveable toys, even Scrooge, add to the decor.
“It takes over the whole house,” Karen Gienko said. “We’ve been doing this forever. We started with just under the tree … All of a sudden, it expanded and it got a little bigger and a little bigger, and now it’s as far as it can go.”
For information on the Holiday House Walk for Charity, call 224-858-4843 or 847-669-8261 or visit www.sccah.com.