Holiday spirit illuminates a Congress Heights street
For the past 7 years, Barbara Thomas' home in Congress Heights has lit up the neighborhood with an eclectic abundance of Christmas-themed decorations. In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the decorations have won commendations from police and others.
The incandescent home is located at 513 Newcomb Street in Southeast Washington, a quiet residential street.
Thomas' yard, which lights up from 5:15 pm to 6:45 am, houses many decorations. There's Santa riding in a NASCAR, Santa flying in a hot air balloon, Santa leaning back in a recliner reading a book, a six foot inflated Tigger wearing Santa's ubiquitous red stocking cap. Thomas estimates more than 30 pieces of Christmas-themed ornaments adorn her front lawn.
"I would love to keep it up all year," Thomas says, laughing. "But I haven't got my electric bill yet."
Appreciation has come from both neighbors and local police, who have recognized Thomas with an award. "The police say they like it because it lights up the block," said Thomas, retired from the DC government.
Thomas says people in the neighborhood begin asking her, "Is it time for the yard to go up?" as early as September.
The display that includes a five foot inflatable snow globe, a fleet of reindeer, multiple Frosty the Snowmans, and Disney characters takes about three days to put up according to Thomas' daughter, Terry.
Throughout the years hundreds of children and their families have asked to take pictures posing by the decorations. Thomas always welcomes them. Anytime you're in the neighborhood, you'll be welcomed, too.
A version of this story appeared in the December East of the River.
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