IMPRESSIVE: Sue from Coraki with a small selection of her Christmas collection.
IMPRESSIVE: Sue from Coraki with a small selection of her Christmas collection. Andy Parks

Each piece has a story to tell

IT STARTED out with an innocuous purchase of a couple of decorative Christmas houses in Grafton in 1989, but over the years it has grown to be a collection of thousands of objects from all over the world.

On the Australia Day long weekend, Sue from Coraki (who didn't wish her surname to be published) started the process of packing her beloved objects back into their boxes, where they will remain until next December.

It takes her three weeks to set up and arrange all of the pieces so that every available space in their little house is totally transformed with angels, snowmen, Santas, reindeer, Christmas villages and nativity scenes.

"A lot of ladies come in here and cry," Sue said.

Sue, who grew up in Woodenbong and Dorroughby, said because she had a younger brother who was very sick, there had never been any money in her family for Christmas.

But she says she loves being able to make it something magical for her six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

"I'm so pleased I can do it. It's something that they can keep and be handed down the generations."

The collection includes everything from kitsch items bought for a few dollars at bargain shops, to elegant glass and porcelain pieces worth hundreds of dollars each.

Sue remembers where almost every piece came from and each one has a story.

They have been picked up on travels to Hong Kong, Beijing, Italy, Macau and from all over Australia. Many have been given to her by friends and family and others are purchased specifically as a reminder of family members who have passed on.



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