Prineville woman's Christmas collection still delights
More than 10,000 pieces on display
More than 10,000 Christmas pieces are estimated in a Prineville woman's collection.
The Grimes Christmas Scene has wowed children and adults for decades.
This year, the show expanded to the Crook County Fairgrounds.
"My attitude is, if I have it, and I can't share it, then why do I have it?" Beth Grimes said Sunday. "It's just Jay (her husband) and I and the grandchildren."
Grimes' Christmas decoration collection began when her mother-in-law started collecting paper houses in 1937 and Grimes started to collect sparingly.
Her set has expanded ever since.
"The special dragons started as a collection," Grimes said. "There are six of them that represent the six grandchildren."
Grimes owns many different theme sets, from dragons to nutcrackers to the Oregon Coast.
More than 10,000 pieces lay in her collection.
"I don't have a favorite piece because it would be like I love one of my kids more than I do the other," Grimes said.
She gets several new pieces every year, usually gifts from friends and family.
And for a long time, she's shared her collection with the public.
"When they step through the door, it's always 'wow'," said Grimes. "When people leave, it's just gratitude that I choose to let people come see it."
Her collection has gotten so big, she's moved it from her house to an empty storefront, a bowling alley, a museum -- and now the fairgrounds.
"Lots of families have collections, but not everybody chooses to share it with the community," Grimes said.
You can't help but smile, looking at the different villages. And for many, those smiles usually come when they see the Santa slide.
"When the schoolchildren are here, there will be three and four deep, standing around it, watching it and cheering Santa Claus on," Grimes said.
And spreading holiday cheer is what her collection is meant to do.
"This one little lady came in, and she obviously didn't have any Christmas spirit at all," Grimes recalled. "And she just was wheeled around in her wheelchair -- and when she left, she was singing Christmas carols."
And if you haven't already visited the scene this year, you still can -- for one more day.
It will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. From noon to 2 p.m., Mrs. Claus will be there to take pictures with children.
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