Lights that go up must come down

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 5, 2003

VIDALIA &045; It’s something not many 12-year-olds would do &045; help Grandpa take down holiday decorations without a grumble.

But to hear Larry Woody of Vidalia tell it, putting up the decorations that monopolize his front yard every Christmas was granddaughter Kelsey Woody’s idea in the first place.

&uot;There’s a lot of things you do when you have grandchildren that you wouldn’t normally do,&uot; Larry Woody said.

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As he talked, Kelsey was busily using pliers to take down green garlands.

Along with strings of multicolored lights, they were wrapped tightly around a welding metal frame to form a small Christmas tree shape.

&uot;Like the Vidalia Christmas tree,&uot; said Larry Woody, &uot;only smaller.&uot;

The large oak tree in front of their house on Miranda Drive is also covered &045; limbs, trunk and all &045; with lights.

So are two smaller metal &uot;Christmas trees,&uot; two metal deer, an angel, a Santa Claus, a snowman and assorted other decorations. When they’re through decorating, the yard sports 3,000 lights in all.

&uot;That’s including the blue ones on the house itself,&uot; Larry Woody said.

The decorations go up the week of Thanksgiving, when Kelsey and her fellow students at Adams County Christian School are out of classes and she can help put up the lights.

In recent years, she has even designed a few of the yard centerpieces herself. The lights stay up until just after New Year’s Day &045; in this case, Saturday, Jan. 4. &uot;We don’t do it for the contest,&uot; said Larry Woody, referring to Vidalia’s annual judging of Christmas decorations. &uot;We just do it for fun. Š Besides, almost everyone on the street does it.&uot;

But the main reason the lights go up each year, Larry Woody said, is Kelsey.

&uot;She loves to do it,&uot; he said.