Extol December 2019 - January 2020 - Page 32

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays that jumps by around $100 for December, but the reactions Owens receives from spectators are priceless. “I’ve been doing this for so long that adults who visited as children years ago are now bringing their children to see the house. I have grandchildren now, also, who love it and that makes me happy,” he said. “Many families stop and ask to take their holiday family photos in front of the garage,” he added. “A favorite story I love is the year that it was raining heavily, and I had turned everything off. I had a knock on my door, and there was a large van from an area retirement home out front. The driver asked if I would turn the lights on for the residents in the van, and I did. Their faces lit up, too, and that just made my Christmas.” Owens keeps the lights on around the clock on Christmas Eve and Christmas night for everyone coming home late from midnight services. But then, the next day dawns. “The worst day of the year is December 26th,” he said, “because I know Christmas is over, and I have to take it all down soon.” Yet, for Owens, the Christmas spirit of love, joy and family abounds all year long. And he loves meeting the people who visit his home along the way. “Just enjoy yourself, bring the whole family,” he said. “To me, if one child gets enjoyment out of it and their eyes light up, it makes it all worthwhile.”