Reese shares holiday spirit

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It all started with a plastic Santa Claus and a plastic snowman.

“I brought it home during Christmas shopping,” Sam Reese, of Victoria, said. “I picked up a plastic Santa Claus and snowman and put one on each side of the step, and got a couple of light strings and put them on the railings of the front porch.”

Though Reese’s tradition of decorating house and yard had a humble beginning, it has grown expodentially, resulting in Reese’s home transforming into a winter wonderland every year for approximately 25 years.

Now, the house has LED lights that blink in rhythm to music, fade from one festive color into another, and a collection of brilliant decorations that he has gradually bought over the decades.

He said his favorite include LED lights that wrap the fencing, porch and trees in the yard.

“The lights that I do around the trees are probably, to me, the most important thing that I put out there,” Reese said. “Because that kind of lights up the whole display.”

“Some of them (are) faders, that fade from one color to the other,” Reese said about the lights.

He said the music box that often accompanies the light show, where the lights blink in time to the music, broke this year, he noted the lights continue to offer a fantastic view.

Reese, who previously owned Victoria Little B at Victoria’s Main Street and now sells products to convenience stores, said he looks forward to beginning the decoration process every December.

He said the outdoor decorations are often a solitary endeavor, though he enlists the help of area teenagers to wrap decorations around the trees.

He also said he has lucked out on purchasing holiday decorations after Christmas, noting that he has bought lights and other decorations at Walmart at a steep discount and orders items online.

The original plastic Santa Claus, Reese said, he still includes in his yard every year.

But the decorations do not stop outside the house, he said.

Reese has a collection of miniature Christmas village items that include more than 300 different buildings and he estimates close to 3,000 accessories.

He noted taking down the lights is often the most difficult part.

“When I’m doing (the decorations) outside, putting it together, it’s like the kid in me coming out again,” Reese said with a laugh. “The hard part is taking it down and putting it away. It’s easy to create. It’s not so easy uncreating, so to speak.”

Reese calls the home the “Grand Central Station” for Christmas decorations when his family stops by on Christmas Eve. He has also met many of his neighbors who have come by to enjoy the view, and people have thanked him for the fantastic decorations each year.

Reese said those kind words, not the recognition, motivate him to continue to spread the Christmas spirit.

“I have had neighbors come walk down the street with their cameras and take pictures, and some families knock on my door and tell me their appreciation and some I have invited in to see the other decorations,” Reese said. “What this is to me is a reflection of my Christmas spirit.”

“I always looked forward to Christmas because that was the time that when my aunts and uncles and cousins all came to visit, and it was a very special day for me, and I try to keep it special still,” Reese said.