Photos by Mario Grasso
This Bronxville shop owner helps his customers play Santa by day — and boasts a resplendent galaxy of Santas by night.
Christmas is a holiday that sparks such widespread joy that a rogue inflatable Santa or two can be found on front lawns as early as November 1. For the owner of Bronxville shop Mano a Mano, Christmas is not a holiday — it’s a lifestyle. Mario Grasso considers himself the king of Christmas, as proclaimed by his Instagram handle (@officialkingofchristmas). But after one look at his showstopping collection, it’s hard to dispute his claim to the throne.
“I was always fascinated with Christmas as a child,” says Grasso. “As I grew into an adult, I started collecting, so my collection spans more than 30 years.” It’s as unique as it is extensive and includes many one-of-kind pieces from independent artisans, creations from other designers and retailers across the globe, and special-edition items from famed ornament companies, like Christopher Radko and MacKenzie Childs.
It’s difficult to behold Grasso’s flawlessly curated Christmas scene and not believe in Santa Claus yourself.
If you’ve ever dreaded hanging your lights or decking the halls, read this next sentence with caution. Grasso’s decor collection is so massive, he begins his set up on Labor Day weekend and is finished by Halloween. “A lot of time goes into setup, due to the size of my collection,” says Grasso. “Taking it all down is easier; I have it packed away within two weeks.”
While Grasso can’t choose a most treasured piece among all the bells and baubles, his favorite room of the house is his pink drawing room, where he spends most of his time. And with palpable holiday cheer found in the glint of each twinkling light, it’s difficult to behold Grasso’s flawlessly curated Christmas scene and not believe in Santa Claus yourself.