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Wall-to-wall Christmas is family tradition
Jack Snyder describes how he has amassed 300 pieces in his Christmas village. - photo by HIME ROMERO
His disposition as Christmas draws near is definitely jolly.

You can walk into his house and it is almost wall-to-wall with Christmas decorations including in the living room, recreation room, guest room, laundry room, dining room, and the kitchen. There are even his and hers Christmas trees plus Yuletide decorated trees on the front porch and back yard.

It’s what you’d expected from a bespectacled white haired man this time of year though it might be the last thing you’d expect from Jack Snyder.

“I’m still in awe of him and his collection to this day,” said his wife Barbara.

Barbara indicated she was a bit stunned to discover a few years back that the man she was marrying had enough Christmas items to fill an entire house.

As the retired LOF quality control manager who served more than 25 years on the Manteca City Council talks about his 300-piece Christmas village he’s put together over the years, he flips a switch in an adjoining room. Suddenly dozens upon dozens of joyous sounds come from animated Christmas decorations.

It’s little wonder that his 6-year-old grandson “Bubba” thinks he’s the coolest guy around this time of year.

The 300-piece village includes hand-painted pieces dating back to the early 1990s when his late wife Rosie suggested he needed a hobby to keep him busy after he didn’t win re-election as mayor.

“It’s been good therapy,” Snyder said.

Barbara and Jack keep an eye out for new Christmas items to add to their collection whenever they travel.

The fact they have four Christmas trees in the house doesn’t faze Jack’s kids.

The infatuation with Christmas decorations - as well as ice cream Jack adds - runs through the entire family.

As a kid growing up in the 1930s during the Depression Christmas wasn’t something that families could afford. Jack recalls getting lead soldiers that sold for 15 cents at the 5-and-10 store as well as fresh fruit for Christmas.

But even though the Depression was rough, Barbara noted that everyone looked forward to celebrating the holiday by stringing popcorn and making paper chains to decorate the tree.

And even though their house is jammed full of secular holiday creations the one thing he has on display that means the most to him is a nativity scene that he hand-painted himself.