Jackie Quigley wouldn’t call herself the collecting type.
You won’t find antiques or knick-knacks gathering dust on shelves or displayed on walls at her Mason home. She doesn’t collect sports memorabilia or books of stamps or coins.
There’s just one explanation then for the family’s 9-foot-tall Christmas tree bedecked with more than 500 Snoopy ornaments
“It’s been all my husband since the get-go,” says Jackie with a laugh. “When you marry someone, you have to embrace it, too.”
- Photos: The Quigley’s collection
Patrick Quigley’s obsession with the black and white pooch began in childhood, when his family would gather to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on TV.
“Back then you didn’t have tapes of those movies and the family got together to watch it once a year,” he explained. “Snoopy just brings back memories of childhood, when life was simple.”
Patrick’s ornament collection began when he made his first Snoopy ornament in kindergarten. A year later, his mom gave him another Snoopy ornament.
“And then it just kind of started,” said Patrick, 45, with a laugh. “It wasn’t something I made an effort to collect.”
Friends and family continued to give him Snoopy ornaments through the years. When he and Jackie, 45, married in 1991, the couple began collecting the ornaments together. Each October, Jackie purchases the entire set of Snoopy ornaments released by Hallmark for Patrick’s birthday.
The couple’s collection includes some of the earliest animated and electric Snoopy ornaments released by Hallmark in the 1990s. Another ornament that holds special memories for the Quigleys is one of Snoopy kissing Lucy, received as an engagement gift.
“It is crazy. I am so not a collectible person,” Jackie says.
“She’s more than doubled it,” counters Patrick, with a chuckle.
It takes the couple and their two children, 15-year-old Brennan and 11-year-old Ryan, two days to put the tree together the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition the children have come to embrace, too.
“They have different memories of hanging ornaments each year,” said Jackie.
The family learned the hard way the importance of spreading out the ornaments after the colossal tree crashed from the weight of the decorations in 2009.
“We did lose a few ornaments that year,” said Jackie. “It was a learning experience, to say the least.”
Patrick, a vice president at a software company, and Jackie, a stay-at-home mom and volunteer, know their collection may seem eccentric, but to them, it’s as much a part of the holidays as Santa Claus.
“It’s as much fun for the kids and the people who come through the house for the holidays,” Patrick says. “Having a tree full of Snoopy just makes the holidays unique and fun.”
HAVE A COOL COLLECTION?
If you have a collection you would like to show off, we’d like to hear from you. Please email Rachel Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following: your name, daytime phone, residence, a brief description of your collection and photos, if possible.