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Photog. Turns Holiday-Decor Glut Into a Thing of Beauty

It takes a special sort of soul to find beauty in the far reaches of over-the-top holiday decorating, but surely the batty Christmas houses in deep Brooklyn and the crazy army of Santa statues in Normal, Ill., could use a dose of Jesse Rieser's admiring eye. For years the Los Angeles-based photographer has traveled the country and cast his lens on the season's most homespun and hand-assembled, albeit the most extreme, decor in a photo series entitled Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus. Inspired by the "giant five-story Santa Claus glowing in my rear-view mirror as I drove into Phoenix," where his parents moved, Rieser views this work as "celebrating people celebrating," he told Wired. "They have the stage this one time a year to show their feathers, even if it is just buying a bunch of stuff and throwing it up in the yard." Amen, brother. Another look, below.

· Christmas Superfan Photos Reveal a Nation Full of Care and Kitsch [Wired via Flavorwire]
· Christmas in America [Jesse Rieser]