A 'bright' Christmas for residents

Catawba County residents might not have a white Christmas this year.

But for many residents, it will be a bright Christmas with elaborate and festive holiday decorations.

Homes throughout the county are decorated in varying degrees of holiday cheer, with white and colored lights, inflatable snow globes, nativity scenes and, of course, Christmas trees.

"We decorate every year," said Patty Tucker, who lives with her family on West Sixth Street in Newton. "We've gotten a little more extensive with it since the kids have come."

The Tuckers have two sons, 5-year-old Davis and 2-year-old Holden, and Patty said they love to see the decorations in the front yard.

Davis and Holden's yard is filled with brightly colored lights, Christmas trees and even two Snoopy light displays.

"Every year, we seem to add something more," Tucker said. "We start out with some garland, and we go from there."

But as her children play outside in their winter wonderland, Tucker is quick to remind Davis and Holden about the real reason for the season.
"It's all about Jesus," Davis said.

Another Newton resident, Herman Moose, also wanted to remind others about the reason for the season. He built his own lighted wooden cross to display in his front yard at 115 W. Herman St.

"You can't buy one, so I thought I would make it," he said.

Moose made the cross from wooden planks then tacked strands of Christmas lights to the cross shape.

The cross isn't the only Christmas decoration Moose constructed. He made a light-up Christmas tree from a sturdy pole, green Christmas lights and a set of hooks. Moose gathered the lights at the top of the pole, then carefully pulled each strand down to the ground in the shape of a tree's base. He then secured each strand to the ground with hooks and attached the strands to a surge protector for the perfect light-up tree.

"Everybody enjoys it," Moose said, who has lived in his Newton home with his wife for more than 30 years. "I'd like to be able to sit across the street and enjoy it."

Moose and his wife, Ann, decorate their home for Christmas every year. Moose said he does a little decorating at a time and claims he "just threw it out there."

It's hard to tell, however, that any decorations were thrown around at the Moose house. The yard, porch and home are pristinely decorated with strands of lights, wreaths, red bows and reindeer.

Electricity use increases in the city of Newton during the holiday season, but whether that increase is caused by residents' Christmas lights is unknown.

Newton city manager Todd Clark said it's hard to calculate what part of the city's electrical consumption is from Christmas light use and what is part of normal weather-related heating.

"I definitely think electric consumption is up," Clark said. "There's no question because of colder temperatures."