"At Christmas, all roads lead home." -- Marjorie Holmes
Fifty three years ago, my Dad decided to make Christmas decorations to display in the yard. He started with a Santa, sleigh and 4 reindeer. Since he was in the Air Force, we and the display moved all over the country, from Sault Se Marie, Michigan to Lompoc California finally in 1972 it moved to Virginia. Daddy started a Santa's list that had the neighborhood kids names on it and since that time, the list has grown to 30!! Mom and I would help with the ideas and painting, then our daughter Jessica came onto the scene in 1986, the Christmas display then centered around her. Whatever favorite character she loved was the new decoration that would be displayed in 'Papa and Mama's' yard until she was old enough to decide herself who it would be. She began to help with the painting also. Daddy would cut them out, add the base colors and I would do the detail work, then he would prepare them by sealing them, all the while adding new lists and finally keeping records of names of children in alphabetical order, so they could be found quickly when the children and the children's children would come look for their name. Daddy would climb the tree, until he was 80 years old putting the lights and wooden candy canes as far up as possible....telling everyone he was a pilot, he flew up there to install them.... Last year it was different, Daddy had been dealing with cancer for four years, and our roles began to change, Jessica did the detail work on the character, and Daddy and I were so proud! I then took his place in the attic, and Jess took mine....we knew our great family tradition was changing.
|Mrs. Santa (left) was the first list...|
|...Now there are 30!!|
|Rapunzel, the last decoration, was detailed by Jessica in 2011|
|Never forget the reason for the season!!!|
|Yes that's me driving the train!! :)|
When Daddy passed away, I knew that the display had to go up just one more time, in HIS honor. Jessica and her husband Brad couldn't come home because she is a 4th year Veterinary student, and time is not hers until May when she graduates. So Hubby and I did it ourselves, one last time in honor of My Daddy. The community seems to be so pleased and supportive, and many have shed tears when they found out he passed away. I wanted to share this wonderful place, my childhood home, that will never be the same again....
|Daddy had already made the list for this year, we made a sign and placed it next to the Christmas elf that always reminded me of him!!|
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year!