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It's always Christmas time for local woman

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Regnia Fair has a room dedicated to Santa Claus

By Leslie Moore

 

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For as long as she can remember, Regnia Fair has loved Santa Claus.

She calls herself a kid at heart. Fair's fascination with Santa has grown into a collection of about 3,000 Santa Claus figurines and ornaments.

Her collection began 24 years ago when her daughter Natasha saved enough money from working at Kmart to buy her a Santa Claus. In the years since then, Natasha and several other family members and friends have been on an endless search to find a Santa Claus that Fair doesn't already have.

"It's hard to buy her one that she doesn't already have," her husband Joe Fair said.

"They all have a special meaning to me," Regnia Fair said. Though it might take her a minute, she said, she can remember who gave her each one.

Many of her Santa Clauses were found when Joe was traveling for work, including one he bought for his wife while in Mexico.

"He used to travel with work a lot and would always try to stop somewhere and buy her one," Joe Fair said.

One year, Joe tried to count all his wife's Santa Clauses but stopped when he got to 1,800. He estimates the collection is at about 3,000. The Christmas tree in the Santa Claus Room has 210 Santa Claus ornaments alone, not including the bows.

"It's hard to find Santas when it's not Christmastime," Regnia Fair said.

But on a trip to Belize with her granddaughter one year, Regnia found a Santa Claus in the middle of the summer.

Regnia said she leaves her Santa Claus room up year-round.

"If I have a bad day or get depressed about something, I can go right up there and turn them things on, they make music and I'll rock in my rocking chair," Regnia Fair said. "And it makes me happy."

Regnia's mother also indulged her daughter's love for Christmastime, and sewed skirts to go under her Christmas trees. When she died, Regnia used part of her inheritance to buy a Santa Claus. She said it felt good to be able to use the money to buy something that would always be special to her.

When one of her seven grandchildren pays a visit, Regnia said they often go straight to the Santa Claus room. One of their favorites is a Santa Claus that does "The Twist."

Through the years, Fair's collection has also grown to include several Santa Claus memorabilia, including a clock, six-pack of Coca-Cola Classic in glass bottles, measuring spoons and a candle snuffer.

Regnia isn't the only person in her family who loves Christmas. Her cousin, Garnettia Knifley, has a large collection of wooden Christmas decorations for public display at her farm in Elk Horn. Knifley built Fair a Santa Claus that waves as well as a nativity scene.

Joe said he doesn't mind Regnia's love for Santa Claus one bit, although he doesn't look forward to replacing the lights when one goes out of the four Christmas trees Regnia puts up.

He said it's fun trying to find Santa Clauses for Regnia.

"It took us forever to find a University of Louisville and University of Kentucky Santa Claus," Joe Fair said.

While Regnia does have a small Western Kentucky University Santa Claus ornament, she is hoping to find a larger one.

"Now I know the reason for the season and I know that without God's help, I wouldn't have all this," Fair said. "But I still love the thoughts of Santa, and I love all the lights. I just love Christmas."

And as for what she hopes Santa Claus will bring her for Christmas this year, the answer is simple.

"More Santas," she said.