For Ken and Helen Edwards, Christmas is a yearlong endeavor.
During the year, they scan local garage sales and auctions for Christmas trees and decorations for their annual "Big Christmas Items Only Sale." This year's sale, Saturday and today, featured more than 30 trees, 200 sets of lights and 500 ornaments and balls.
Standing in the middle of her jam-packed garage at 201 Dakota, Mrs. Edwards said the idea of a Christmas sale hit she and her husband when they realized how many holiday decorations they'd accumulated over the years.
"Each year it seems like it's gotten bigger," Mrs. Edwards said. "It's a lot of fun. We both love Christmas."
The trick, Mrs. Edwards said, is "you try not to get too much of any one thing."
THE EDWARDSES, who have lived in Lawrence for 11 years, said they try to make sure everything they sell is in good condition. As far as they know, they're the only family in town that has a special Christmas garage sale.
"Not too many people have the patience to sit around and fix lights," Ken Edwards said, smiling.
In addition to trees and ornaments, the holiday goods included everything from Christmas candles and cookie cutters to wreaths and garlands.
"I've been marking on this stuff for almost a month," Mrs. Edwards said.
She admitted that she occasionally keeps some of the decorations for herself.
"I PICK UP a few things," Mrs. Edwards said, adding that she tried to exert more willpower this year because she already has quite an extensive Christmas decoration collection.
The Edwardses store the goods for the sale in their basement until the weekend of the sale.
"We usually have it not the weekend right after Thanksgiving but the following weekend," Mrs. Edwards said as her husband prepared to deliver a Christmas tree that was purchased by an elderly couple.
Mrs. Edwards said she and her husband donate leftover Christmas goodies to families who need the decorations more than they do.