A woman in San Diego’s East County -- who really, really loves the holidays -- has put up 27 Christmas trees in her home, which she hopes will help brighten up the season for local children.
For many years, Christmas trees have been Alpine resident Rhonda Lamar’s thing. But, for her, one tree isn’t enough.
Lamar’s philosophy has always been simple: the more the merrier.
Twenty years ago, Lamar began collecting holiday decorations. Her seasonal stockpile has grown more extensive each year, from festive figurines, garlands, and trimmings to her prized possessions: 27 Christmas trees.
"I just keep collecting more and more and it's getting out of control. I'm running out of room," Lamar said, laughing.
Each holiday season, she digs out her decorations and sets up the trees, one by one, all arranged by theme. Some of her themes: doughnuts, cupcakes, monkeys and even a "Grinch"-inspired tree.
"I just love Christmas," she told NBC 7. "I love all the themed trees."
"I made the arms and the hands myself," Lamar explained, referring to her new "Grinch" tree at the end of her hallway. "I bought the mask and then stuck everything together."
Her annual tradition takes her about a week to complete, from start to finish. Sometimes, she said, she stays up all night to finish.
But, when she finally flips the switch, it's all worth it. The result is a colorful, twinkling holiday wonderland, with something to see in every nook.
Lamar doesn’t keep the magic all to herself. In the spirit of the season, she spreads the cheer.
For many years, her home in Alpine had been part of the “Christmas in Alpine” home tour hosted by the Alpine Women’s Club, a fundraiser in support of local high school seniors and college scholarships.
This year, Lamar has branched off on her own.
She told NBC 7 she plans to open her decked out Christmas house to the public this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so people can enjoy her decorations and trees.
Guests will be asked to donate $25 at the door, and, for the second time, those proceeds from Lamar’s home tour will benefit the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. As guests stroll through Lamar’s winter wonderland, they will be treated to hot apple cider, cookies and even a visit from Santa Claus.
Lamar doesn’t have children, which explains how she keeps her decorations looking so perfect year after year. She said she’s happy to put her passion for Christmas to good use by turning her decorations into a fundraiser in support of local children.
"They're dear to my heart. I've never had any children, but I just feel sorry for kids going through that kind of stuff, especially during the holidays," Lamar said.