East Texas couple turns house into Gingerbread Trails Christmas shop

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas couple has taken Christmas decorating to a whole new level. They have transformed their home into a Christmas store and showroom.

For 5 weekends a year, Judy and Earl Olsen live in their house around thousands of Christmas of decorations, all for sale.

Open the door to this home in the Forest Hills subdivision on Lake Sam Rayburn and you will walk into a wall-to-wall Christmas wonderland.

Decorations fill every room but it's not just Judy and Earl Olsen's personal Christmas décor. It's all for sale.

"When I moved to this area I checked around and found out there was no one doing Christmas up here and so I said to my husband hey are you game? How about us turning our house into a Christmas shop," said Judy.

And that's exactly what the Olsen's have done for the past 4 years. For five weekends out of the year, Christmas connoisseurs can peruse through Santa's, sleighs, elves, ornaments, pottery, wreathes, garland, you name it.

"no one has it up here. There's no competition."

It takes more than two months for the Olsen's to get their Gingerbread Trails shop ready to open to the public.

"There are thousands of ornaments in this house so we spend weeks just inventory everything and getting it ready but 2 full months just to set up all the trees all the different displays that are in here," said Judy.

But the Christmas house is more than just a store it's a showroom full of ideas for the Christmas spirited.

"They can look up there and visualize what it would look like in their home or on top of the bookshelf, what it's going to look on the curio cabinet in the hall or the dining room or how the buffet will look displayed," said Judy.

Judy says customers would have to go to Houston to find a store dedicated to Christmas décor and crafts if it wasn't for Gingerbread Trails.

The Olsen's say business has grown about 50 percent every year. She says every year they see repeat customers, bring their friends, who then tell their friends about the Christmas house.

Gingerbread Trails opens the first full weekend in November. Its open Thursday - Saturday (10-6) and Sunday (1 -6) for 5 consecutive weeks.

It's located in the Forest Hills neighborhood off Rural Road 255 in Jasper County. Turn into the neighborhood then follow the "Gingerbread Trails" signs to the house.

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