Extol December 2019 - January 2020 - Page 30

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays holiday magic. He’s crafted a 14-foot long train with four cars, built a 14-foot tall Christmas tree and added toy soldiers in guard houses along his driveway. He ticks off his inventory like Santa reading his list. “I know where everything goes, and I have a system that works,” he said. “I have a hot air balloon on the side of the house with three animated reindeer and Santa; I have wire deer; I have snowmen, and animated characters in the garage. I also have two large nutcrackers, wreaths and garland for the windows and door. I use icicle lights; I use red, green, and white lights; I have multicolored lights and LED lights. I use it all.” The cheer continues inside the Owens’ house as well, with five Christmas trees and heavily decorated basement, living and dining rooms and more. “We just love Christmas,” he explained. He has an agreement with his patient wife, Becky, that if he buys something new, something 28 EXTOL : DECEMBER 2019/JANUARY 2020 old must go away. Each year, he changes the theme and look of the full garage, which is transformed into a barn, with Styrofoam panels painted to look like Santa’s reindeers’ stalls – artwork crafted 10 years ago by students in New Albany High School’s art department. The garage features a working train, animated characters, Christmas figurines and scenes, and an 85-year-old aluminum color wheel tree that belonged to Owens’ grandmother. “I encourage people to walk up to the garage doors and look inside,” Owens said. “I want kids to see inside the garage. I love to see the looks on their faces and their eyes get so big.” But alas, lamented Owens, “my wife doesn’t like me getting on the roof anymore. I have a large sleigh and reindeer that went across the roof, but it’s hard to maneuver alone. My wife didn’t like me on the roof with it, so I haven’t used it for several years, but this year, I put it in the yard instead.” All that work adds up, with an electric bill