ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa -- The National Christmas Center might be the largest collection of Christmas artifacts in the world.
The Center was the vision of James Morrison, also known as 'Santa Jr.' and the 'Keeper of Christmas.' He opened the original center in Paradise, Pa. It lasted nearly 20 years before closing in 2018 because of financial complications.
Enter David Abel, the steward of Stone Gables Estate, who purchased the collection and has spent the last three years reimagining the National Christmas Center.
The center reopened this year in a temporary location featuring many of the artifacts that were featured at the original location plus additions from David's collection and items from Executive Curator John Enterline.
The space is designed as Abel's hometown of Columbia, Pa., from the 1940s with storefronts decorated for the holidays. You can walk around and see collections of Buyer's Choice dolls, the original Woolworths, toy train setups, toy soldiers and doll houses.
It's meant to be a nostalgic experience.
Not far away is a three-mile drive-through light display featuring a covered bridge, an active steam engine train and a forest of Moravian stars.
The entire event has a mission-based purpose with 100% of the proceeds donated to Brittany's Hope, a foundation that aids abandoned children worldwide.
The National Christmas Center might be the largest collection of Christmas artifacts in the world!