From glowing Santas to nativity scenes, antique shop gives classic Christmas decorations new life

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COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. — Around this time every year, there’s a gaper’s delay along a stretch of La Grange Road in Countryside as drivers are unable to take their eyes off a glowing crowd of plastic Santas, candy canes and gingerbread men. 

The smiling snowmen and toy soldiers standing outside Rosebud Antiques transport many back to the magic of Christmas they remember as a kid. 

Crouched down in the middle of the Christmas horde inside you’ll find Candy and Kim Sanders, the two sisters behind it all. For 23 years, they have been painting, rewiring and gluing pieces of Christmas past back together again. 

“Antiques make time forever stand still. That’s our motto,” Candy Sanders said. 

The sisters are as fun and colorful as the blow molds they surround themselves with. 

“Last year we sold 625. Everyone wants them now. They want that instant bling. You plug it in and you get that wow factor,” Kim Sanders said. 

Customers drive in from all over the county for the classic Polk Brothers Santa, the line of nutcrackers and angels that once lived in their own front yards.  

“One guy bought a sleigh and eight reindeer and hung it above his bed all year long,” Candy Sanders said. “It’s like a cult, a blow mold cult.”

With these two right in the middle of it. 

“You know, Jesus is the number one blow mold that is stolen. Every year we have five to six  people wanting them and you can’t replace the old Jesus baby,” Kim Sanders said. 

Nor can you replace the sisters’ coveted antique shop, which will close its doors for good on Christmas Day after 23 years. 

While they admit it’s sad, the sisters say their Christmas memories don’t lie in the decorations but rather in the joy of getting them back in the right hands. 

“One man brought in an old black-and-white photograph of his wife when she was a little girl next to a plastic Santa. When he found the exact same one here, he almost started crying. He said, ‘I just have to get this for my wife.’” 

For the Sanders sisters, that will always be the best gift of all. 

Once the physical shop closes, the Sanders sisters will continue to sell their nostalgic stock online.

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