It's fun to drive around Cornelius and see the decorations and lights for the holiday season.
Not only does our town decorate, but lots of our neighbors celebrate by decorating their homes as well.
One of the most unusually and completely decorated is the home of Richard and Marian Borland. They moved to Cornelius two years ago because of Richard's job.
Besides the thousands of lights, giant ornaments decorate the living trees, lit presents and Christmas trees are on the ground, small figures from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories line the front of the yard, many Santas wave, and the whole yard seems to glitter.
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Richard and Marian moved from Denver to Nebraska, then Nebraska to Cornelius, bringing lots of their Christmas decorations with them at each move. Unfortunately, for the move to North Carolina, they had to sell some: a number of large cutout plywood ones they had made.
Fortunately, the Borlands often check yard sales to replace and replenish their display. Recently they found a large, wooden, painted, cutout Santa with a broken waving hand. They fixed Santa's hand, and he is waving in their yard this year.
The plan is to work on making additional plywood cutouts to add to the festivities next year.
The Borlands say they decorate their house because they just "enjoy doing it. We do it because it's fun.... People enjoy looking. It makes others smile." They have no children besides Squeaks and Myra, the cats.
The Borlands have been illuminating their homes since 1998 and start the process every year on Thanksgiving morning. Marian said they don't cook on Thanksgiving Day because of this tradition. It usually takes about two days to set up everything, so they eat Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.
The Borlands add something new to the display each year. They buy new ornaments anywhere they go. They also try to go to after-Christmas sales to buy most decorations, but, Marian said, sometimes they buy things at the first of the season "because it's so cool we just have to have it."
Despite the very embellished outside of the house, inside there is little decoration. Mr. Grinch sits at the dining room table; they have a few decorations up; and they haven't even put up their Christmas tree, yet. It seems the Borlands are more concerned with making the outside of their home beautiful to make the rest of us happy. And I thank them for it.