This Indiana home is full of Christmas decorations. Looked


Jim and Bonnie Kasari were living on Cliffwood Drive in Indiana when they started considering property in Crandon Park. “We were last here,” Bonnie told the Courier Journal. “That lot had been empty for I don’t know how long, and … I kept saying, ‘I want my dream house.’ »

She and Jim had visited a few homes that were on the market, but many were run down and dilapidated. Once they decided that a brand new build was their best option, they contacted the man who owned the Clarksville land where their ranch home now stands.

It took several years, but eventually the Kasaris convinced the owner to sell. They bought the property and built their dream home in 1978. Bonnie drew a rough plan of everything she wanted for the new place: a floor plan similar to their old home, but with a dining room formal; a large attached garage; and a swimming pool.

Decorations for days

Bonnie had always decorated their old house for the holidays, and she had no intention of changing that in their new house. A former teacher, she struggled for major vacations at home and at work. “I’ve always decorated my classroom – a lot of time,” she said. “I changed it every month, so the kids were very excited.”

Some of the Christmas decorations also served as an arithmetic lesson for her second-grade students. Bonnie would have her class come over and fill out a worksheet with the number of snowmen, Santas, and other Christmas creatures found in different rooms. Although she has since retired, the themed rooms have remained.

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A sign hangs on each door indicating what kind of decorations can be found in that room. There’s the Beary Christmas Room, the Reindeer Romp Room, and the Puppy Playroom, among others. Behind each door, the space is filled with a fully decorated Christmas tree, stuffed animals, wall hangings, wrapped boxes, stockings, and more—all themed, of course.

At the end of Christmas, all decor will be stored in neatly organized and labeled plastic bins, which are stacked in the garage as well as in a storage room in the basement. Bonnie then pulls out the next set of bins, ready to decorate for another holiday.

Charmed by cola

Although much of the Kasari house aesthetic changes regularly, there is one theme in the basement that lasts 365 days a year: Coca-Cola.

“Collecting all of these things started with Godfather’s Pizza,” Jim explained. “Thirty or 40 years ago they offered free glasses of Coca-Cola if you ordered a large pizza. … From there we just grew and bought all kinds of Coke glasses over the years. »

Their Coca-Cola compilation now includes a plethora of glasses, cans from around the world, magnets, cookie jars, figurines, stuffed animals, and more. Some of the items are Christmas themed; typically, these parts are replaced by their non-holiday-specific counterparts after December 25th. However, as Jim explains, since the Christmas village he set up on the other side of the basement has remained in place for the past few years, so has the Coca-Cola Christmas collection.

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The constant joy of Christmas

“Since I didn’t destroy the village, (we left) the whole Christmas basement,” Jim said. “It’s Christmas every day here.”

The village to which he refers occupies an entire section of the basement. A combination of 106 buildings, a train, plus countless cars, people, and other props, the miniature community looks like an exhibit one would find in a department store or museum. In reality, it is the result of a collection that Jim started amassing almost 30 years ago.

“It all started in 1992 with six buildings, a few people, props and cars,” he said. “And they added more every year.”

Most parts are Coca-Cola, although some are from other brands. There’s even an old firefighter museum that Jim built himself. “I have a master schema,” he said of the setup process. “(It’s) a theme where I put everything.”

From movie theaters and restaurants to churches and motels, the village truly exemplifies everything that existed back when a limited number of Tucker 48s were on the road. It’s been a while since Jim added anything to the display, as he hopes someone will soon take it out of their hands and put it in a place where more people can continue to enjoy it each holiday season.

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This year, however, he and Bonnie want to share it with as many people as possible.

Do you know a house that would make a great house of the week? Email Editor Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected]

nuts and bolts

Owners: Jim and Bonnie Kasari, both retired teachers. Also in the house are their fur boys, Rufus and Buddy.

House: This is a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 1,860 square foot ranch-style home in the Crandon Park neighborhood of Clarksville, Indiana that was built in 1978.

Distinctive elements: Situated on 7/10 of an acre; fenced back yard; 2 and a half car garage; fully finished basement; two fireplaces; pool; pool house; front and back porches; two patios; dog door on back porch; countless Christmas decorations.

Applause! Applause! The Burke Co. for the exterior paint and EAC Fence for the fences.


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