The Dart: Goodrich house gets in Christmas spirit
NATCHEZ — It hasn’t felt much like Christmas in the Miss-Lou, but Sharon and John Goodrich have made sure that anyone who drives past their house on Union Street knows the holidays are here.
John was hard at work on his porch Saturday morning when The Dart landed. As he was checking lights and hanging wreaths, his collection of inflatable, automated decorations were hard at work as well.
There was a Santa Claus flying a helicopter, St. Nick flying a plane, the big guy operating a reindeer ride and even old man Christmas sitting on the porch waving at passers by and checking his list to see if they have been naughty or nice.
“We’ve always been Christmassy people,” John said.
Sharon said John and his family has always done Christmas big, and when the two of them married 17 years ago, he hooked her in as well.
“He has such a good time (decorating), how can I not have fun with it,” she said.
“Plus it keeps me out of her hair,” John added.
The Goodrich home is covered from the sidewalk to the front door with Christmas decorations already, and John said he still has a lot of work to do before the Christmas countdown clock on his front porch reaches all zeros.
The decorations that stand out most are the several moving, inflatable ones that all feature Santa Claus. John said the first one he got was Santa flying a helicopter, and that one still holds a special place for him.
“I am a helicopter pilot,” he said. “I took my first flying lesson when I was 14, and I am still trying to get my fixed wing (license).”
Last year the couple added the waving Santa Claus, and this year the reindeer ride decoration was added.
“We try to get a new one every year,” John said.
The couple moved to Natchez from California when Sharon was hired to be the director of the National Cemetery.
Sharon said Natchez and its people welcomed them in, and they have found their new home.
They brought with them their affinity for decorating, and the community now knows what to expect from them each year after Thanksgiving.
“We know other people might think we’re lunatics,” Sharon said.
“We’ve been doing it so long, it’s gotten to the point where we can’t not do it,” John said. “People have come to expect it. It’s a great community, and people will be driving by and look at it, and kids really like it.”
The decorations do not stop on the outside. John has collected more than 200 Santa Claus figures, and the couple has ornaments they have collected from all over the world to decorate the inside of the house.
“One year we put two trees in the house in California, and after two trees I still had ornaments left over,” Sharon said.
John said the unseasonable weather has made his work a little more difficult this year.
“This year I tried to wait for the mosquitos to go away,” he said. “It’s difficult to get in the Christmas spirit when you’re getting bitten by mosquitos.”
John is also a member for the Natchez Santa Claus committee and will join in the Christmas Eve parade this year, which is something he looks forward to each Christmas.