Christmas in Newton County
Display in Nicholas' yard brightens the neighborhood

By Staff
EXTRAVAGANZA The home of Donald and Martha Nicholas in Newton County is lit up with thousands of Christmas lights and holiday figures. The couple has been decorating their entire home, inside and out, for the last 11 years. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Dec. 15, 2002
From his blue recliner in the living room of his home, Donald Nicholas can see directly out his front door.
And when he notices strangers walking around in his front yard during the Christmas season, Nicholas said he's not surprised.
That's because Nicholas and his wife, Martha, have decked out their Newton County home and yard on Chunky-Duffee Road for the holidays.
The couple's yard is filled with thousands of colored, blinking and rotating lights. Figures of
Santa, Christmas carolers, a train filled with presents and several nativity scenes are also placed strategically around the front yard.
But not only traditional Christmas decorations adorn the displays.
Many of the items in Martha's Christmas collection are purchased at after-Christmas sales and yard sales, but most of the detailed figures are made by Martha and her sister, Lois Hardy.
The Nicholas' say the question people always ask is, "How much is your electric bill?"
Martha remembers the first year she decorated she thought she had knocked out the power in the entire neighbor.
Both Martha and Donald say decorating has become a tradition for them, and their neighbors look forward to seeing what new things Martha will put up each year.
But Martha said she really decorates for her five grandchildren and the children in her community.

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