Auburn man lights up faces with his 50-years-and-glowing holiday collection.

AUBURN — For some, Christmas cheer is hanging a wreath on the door, stringing the exterior with lights, and erecting a tree that the cat will inevitably knock down.

For Roland Bergeron of Auburn, Christmas spirit doesn’t stop there. For the past 60 years, Bergeron has turned the inside of his family homestead into a holiday wonderland.

“Everywhere we go, it’s Christmas,” said Bergeron as he walked past a wall-sized jukebox playing original recordings of Christmas classics.

Walking through his home, every room is meticulously decorated with vintage decorations and scenes, even the bathrooms. In the dining room upstairs, tables are set up against the wall with Christmas villages set up on top.

“I’m getting older,” Bergeron said. “I used to put all my villages on the floor, but now I had to elevate things.”

Bergeron started extensively decorating for Christmas early on, helping his mother and father decorate as a teenager. Now 73, Bergeron has had plenty of time to hone his collection, most of which is passed down from his family.

In the dining room, an evergreen centerpiece his sister made before she was married. Golden ornaments crafted by his mother who died in 2002.

Bergeron said that although his collection expands every year, certain pieces stay, including the main centerpiece, preserved exactly as it was when it was made decades ago.

“This is an accumulation of at least 50 years of stuff,” Bergeron said. “I take good care of my stuff.”

And he has a lot of it: Bergeron said he can’t put an exact number on the decorations in his home, but it must be somewhere in the thousands.

Each room has a manger scene. Bergeron said the manger and Nativity scenes tell the true story of Christmas. Other rooms have themes. There’s a Disney Room, with a large Christmas-themed Disney Castle, a display case full of Snow Babies, white ornaments depicting children celebrating Christmas, purchased from the now-defunct Gooseberry Farms in Auburn.

“Someone told me I should put it all down on a piece of paper — who gave me this. It would take me a very long time,” Bergeron said.

For Bergeron, every decoration came from somewhere, and each has a story.

“Every little piece means something. I know who gave me this, I know who gave me that,” he said.

Years ago, Bergeron said, an acquaintance was moving into a nursing home, and before she moved, she gifted him several porcelain Christmas dolls. She’s still alive, and every year, Bergeron makes sure she comes over and sees them displayed in his home.

Bergeron said transforming his home is a lot of work. He starts decorating in October and takes frequent breaks, pausing to nap every few hours. But he continues to decorate for one simple reason: the light it brings to the faces who walk through his home.

“You see them, and their faces light right up,” he said.

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Roland stands behind the bar that is stocked and ready for a party. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. He is pictured here partially hidden by the dining room chandelier laden with decorations. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Here is a section of one of the villages in which every item holds special meaning because it was handed down from a relative or was a gift or a special purchase from a trip or outing. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

A small section of one of the villages Roland Bergeron of Auburn has set up inside his historic family homestead. He has put up thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Here is a small section of one of the Christmas villages. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. The front door is locked and inaccessible because the foyer has been taken over by a Christmas scene. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Here is a section of one of the villages in which every item holds special meaning because it was handed down from a relative or was a gift or a special purchase from a trip or outing. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Nearly every inch of the house is decorated, including this closet in the basement. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Nearly every room in the house has at least one Nativity scene. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Here is one of several heavily loaded Christmas trees that adorn every room in the house. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. A relative brought this curio cabinet down from Canada and they assembled it to hold keepsakes he has collected over the years, including many gifts from friends and relatives. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Roland had a fireplace built for his father (his portrait hangs above it) in the basement where tables and chairs from the former Gooseberry Barn are ready for guests. Many of the decorations came from the iconic Auburn store from long ago. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. The basement is all decked out and ready for holiday parties. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. Many of the decorations have a Disney theme because the park holds a special place in Roland’s heart. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. A portrait of his parents holds a special place on the wall in the dining room. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

Roland Bergeron of Auburn has decorated the inside of his historic family homestead with thousands of Christmas decorations every year since he was a boy. (Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham)

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