Afternoon delights: Christmas nearly here on Providence Road

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ben Hillyer/The Natchez Democrat — James “J-Rock” Blanton wraps a strand of multi-colored Christmas lights around a light pole at Lee and Sherry Jones’ house on Providence Avenue Monday afternoon. The light display at the Joneses’ house always draws stream of cars each holiday season.


NATCHEZ — Peggy Norman knows when she is almost finished putting up the Christmas lights at Lee and Sherry Jones’ house.

When one of the more than 1,000 strings of mutli-colored lights suddenly fails and she has to call the electrician, Norman knows the end is near.

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After six days of winding lights around trees, light poles and almost anything else vertical, Norman had to make that call when it looked like there would not be enough power to light up the lights on the Jones’ fence.

Peggy Norman adds another strand of lights to the light display.

Norman has been putting up lights for the Joneses since 1996. The display started out small with the fence and few trees covered in light. In 1999, the display expanded into the light spectacle that locals drive by each year to see.

“We have created a monster,” Sherry Jones likes to jokingly call it.

But each and every year, Jones and her husband love to see the lights from their front porch and watch the streams of cars pass.

“We make it look like a candy land of lights,” Norman said.

With her assistant James “J-Rock” Blanton, Norman spends many days before Thanksgiving decorating the trees, shrubs and the fence.

Norman and Blanton start from the ground and wind lights around most of the trees in the Jones’ yard. Each one of the small trees in the Jones’ yard is covered with five to seven strands of light.

“But the bigger trees take anywhere from 17 to 18 strands,” Norman said.

Monday, Norman and Blanton were into their sixth day of their candy land transformation.

“It is a lot of work,” Norman said. “But we make it fun.”

Norman says she is blessed to be able to decorate each year. She loves to watch the landscape transform into a wonderland of lights.”

“I am not in the best of health these days, but I love this,” Norman said. “I take it one year at a time and the Lord blesses me to do this. It always seems to work out.”

When she is finished in the next couple of days, Norman says she will not go home, prop up her feet and rest.

“I will start on my house,” Norman said.