Nancy Schwab loves Christmas. Really, really loves Christmas.
“I have Santa collections from when I was little,” said Ms. Schwab, 62, a retired school administrator. Thus, it became a source of annual annoyance that decking the house with boughs of holly (and twinkly lights) was frowned upon in her Joliet, Ill., neighborhood until Thanksgiving had come and gone.
Almost two years ago, Ms. Schwab and her husband, Robert, a retired carpenter and contractor, began to contemplate relocating to a place with a vastly different feel. “We started researching, and Santa Claus, Ind., came up,” Ms. Schwab said of the town in the southern part of the Hoosier state that bills itself as “America’s Christmas Hometown.”
There’s plenty to back up the boosterism: Yule-themed businesses like Santa’s Toys, Santa’s Candy Castle, Santa Claus Haus, the Santa Claus Museum & Village and street names like Silver Bell Circle, Mistletoe Drive, Donder Lane and the main stem, Christmas Boulevard. Statues of St. Nick stand sentry at, among other spots, the post office, the town hall, Santa’s Lodge, a local hotel, and the Key Associates Signature Realty agency. The 2017 Lifetime movie “Snowed-Inn Christmas” was set — though not shot — in Santa Claus.
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