David and Lauren Watts

Lauren and David Watts, shown here in December 2014, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their family-owned Solvang store Jule Hus with an open house Nov. 12.

Jay Farbman, Contributor

A Solvang landmark will celebrate a half-century in business with an open house and Nativity figure signing Sunday, Nov. 12.

Jule Hus at 1580 Mission Drive will celebrate its 50th anniversary as Solvang's Christmas House with refreshments, door prizes and a guest appearance and figure signing by a member of the Fontanini family.

Dwight and Claire Watts founded Jule Hus, which specializes in everything Christmas, in 1967, and their son David and wife Lauren took over the business in 1993 to continue the tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ all year long.

Every year, the Watts family hears returning customers tell stories about coming to Solvang and “the Christmas store” as part of their Yuletide traditions.

In the 50 years since it was opened, four generations of the Watts family have worked together there.

Coincidentally, Stefano Fontanini belongs to the fourth generation of his family to lead the House of Fontanini in Italy, and he will personally appear to show and sign his company’s popular collection of nativity figures between 1 and 4 p.m.

David Watts noted Jule Hus is one of only 20 retailers nationwide that will offer a special limited-edition nativity figure “Seth” for sale.

Those who purchase figures on the day of the event can have them, along with two others from their personal collections, signed by Fontanini,

Watts noted longtime customers tell of giving a Fontanini Holy Family set as a gift and then adding figures to the collection each year, making them treasured family heirlooms.

For more information, call the Jule Hus at 688-6601 or visit www.solvangschristmashouse.com.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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