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Usual 'unusual' Christmas displays appear

Staff writer

Dragging Christmas decorations out of storage and webbing the lawn with extension cords is worth the light in children’s eyes when they drive by Delores Herzet’s house.

Herzet started to use her front yard as a wintery wonderland when her daughters were young, following a family tradition.

“My dad and my stepmom lived in Wichita, and they went all out for Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day,” she said. “They decorated their yard, and it kind of transferred to me. I was given an abundance of Christmas decorations and decided to carry on the tradition.”

The shadow nativity on her lawn was originally her parents’, and a few well-used inflatables were gifts from her father.

Herzet’s husband Jeffrey acts as electrician and gofer when she sets it up the week before Thanksgiving. Her daughters pitch in too if they aren’t engrossed in nursing school finals or work.

“You have to stake everything down, and make sure that it all inflates,” Herzet said. “The hardest part is getting electricity ran to everything — getting extension cords drug around, making sure they’re the right length…”

Kathy Epp in Hillsboro prefers to use non-traditional decorations: repurposed tomato cages made to look like Christmas trees.

“We’ve had them for many years,” Epp said. “We first put them in the north windows. We’ve moved them around.”

The trees are sitting on the carport this year. Below them, the Epps have displayed pieces from the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts fair since Thanksgiving.

“It goes so fast,” Epp said about the holiday season. “If you’re going to put work into putting it up, you’ll want to see it for a little bit.”

Treena Lucero, also from Hillsboro, goes for an even more unique set-up: string lights cross between tree branches and the ground in an indiscernible, mesmerizing pattern across the front yard.

“We were driving through Wichita years and years ago and saw a whole neighborhood that did that,” Lucero said. “We were tired of doing plain white lights, so we decided to do that.”

The string positions shifted as her trees have grown. Underneath the glow, the lights are wound around string and held by stakes.

“We try to use a bright-colored string so people don’t run into them if they go sneaking through our yard,” Lucero said.

Last modified Dec. 9, 2021

 

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