Christmas ‘wonder world’

Published 10:39 am Friday, December 9, 2011

This is Edna Holloway's Walnut Street home, which she decorates with lights and inflatable decorations for Christmas. -- Dale Liesch | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Edna Holloway’s first year of decorating for Christmas at her Walnut Street home involved placing a few ornaments on a leafless dogwood.

“My children called it a Charlie Brown tree,” Holloway said. “They said I could do better.”

And she did.

The 72-year-old decorates her home and yard with hundreds of lights and 50 to 55 inflatable decorations.

“That inspired me and it became my passion,” Holloway said. “It just kept growing and each year it got bigger.”

She used to make displays from wood, but began using the inflatables about five years ago.

Holloway said she usually begins decorating toward the end of September, but started in October this year because a tree had to be removed from her yard. She gets the early start to have everything ready for her annual Thanksgiving night illumination.

“My biggest joy is seeing the twinkle in a child’s eyes when they see Rudolph, or Santa Claus,” Holloway said.

Francine Bryant, Holloway’s friend and neighbor, sees 12 to 15 vehicles stop daily to see the decorations.

“It’s beautiful,” Bryant said. “My (3-year-old) granddaughter (Nira Ashburn) calls it a wonder world.”

Holloway’s ex-husband John, an electrician, said he is impressed with her knowledge in putting the displays together.

“I think it’s amazing with the way she moves around,” John Holloway said, noting that his former wife had a knee replacement in 2002 and uses a cane to get around. “I tried to get her to quit. I’m kind of proud of her the way she does things.”

Deborah Turner, Holloway’s daughter, is also impressed with her mother’s knowledge.

“For me, I think it’s exceptional,” Turner said. “She knows where all the cords are and how they’re connected.”

Edna Holloway searches the Internet to find deals on decorations the day after Christmas to restock for next year.

“I usually have a theme,” she said.

One year the theme was home for the holidays and featured decorations involving modes of transportation. This year’s display doesn’t have a theme.