For 16 years, a Poway couple has opened their home, and hearts, to thousands, showcasing their marvelous “Santa house.” But now, they say, the time has come to close up shop.
John and Kathy Huish annually transform their house inside and out into an amazing display of decorations that draws on average 15,000 visitors who stand in line for hours.
The tradition started in 2000, a simple enough idea to invite people to come see Santa Claus and has grown ever since through word of mouth.
It started in the corner of the couple’s driveway the first year, then grew the second year to include the playhouses in the backyard.
“The following year, we opened the inside of the house and then the following year we built a room that we call the Santa Room and it's just evolved,” Kathy Huish said.
John Huish said it's been his way of paying back the community for supporting his business: the popular Family Fun Centers.
In fact, those playhouses used to be miniature golf obstacles at the old Fun Center in La Mesa. They bring in a crane to hoist a 36-foot tower, bought from FAO Schwarz in Seattle.
The couple is closing up the Santa house mainly because of their elderly ages.
After 16 years, Kathy likes to reflect on the difference the couple has made in so many lives.
"We had a little boy who's dying wish was to come here. And then he passed away just a few days after he'd been here. Those are the kinds of things that touch your heart and know that you've made somebody happy," Kathy Huish said.
The Huishes didn't want to disclose their address, as they say the crowds have just been so large. The house will be open to visitors until Dec. 23.