[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 55°F  
High: 67°F ~ Low: 50°F
Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Tis The Season

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tom and Connie Whitmarsh pose with one of Tom's favorite Christmas decorations inside their holiday filled home. [Order this photo]
* Home of Tom, Connie Whitmarsh is a festival display

The 1900 block of Johnson Street in Harmony is definitely aglow with Christmas spirit.

Motorists traveling north on Harmony Road from State Road 40 can see the festive light display in Tom and Connie Whitmarsh's yard.

The glow from the holiday lights and Christmas spirit at the Whitmarsh residence can be seen while traveling near the intersection of north Harmony Road and Johnson Street. [Order this photo]
"I've been decorating for the holidays for about 15 years," Tom recently told The Brazil Times about more than 100 unique yard ornament displays in his front yard. "But about 10 years ago, I really got bitten by the bug. The display has been growing every year since. Grandkids say I'm crazy, but I really like doing it, and the neighborhood seems to like it."

While many people wonder about the cost of setting up such a display throughout the holidays, Tom says it can be done economically.

"I use generators, which helps the utility bills," Tom said. "Overall, it probably costs around an additional $100 for the season. But to me, it's worth it to bring someone a little holiday cheer."

Tom Whitmarsh uses a snow blower to remove recent snowfall from one of his numerous Christmas yard decorations at his Harmony home. [Order this photo]
Although health issues have slowed down Whitmarsh from hanging Christmas lights around the house, it's not diminished his passion for creating annual Christmas displays.

"I love to see the looks on the faces of children, and adults too, when they stop by to see it," Tom said. "People really enjoy it."

The large display circling around the Whitmarsh home features some one-of-a-kind and many hard-to-find inflatable ornaments, plastic blow molds, snow globe inflatables, moving animals and angels with lights, wooden cutouts and various other types of Christmas displays.

"He's always coming home saying, 'It really was the last one they had on display,'" Connie said about her husband's holiday hobby. "Tom's even taken me with him to prove he only gets those unique ones that are really the last ones available. He shops all year long to add to the collection."

The decorations don't stop in the front yard, the Whitmarsh house is also wall-to-wall holiday spirit.

"I love Christmas," Tom said.

While Connie also enjoys Christmas, she admits to often shaking her head in amazement at the elaborate decorations her husband, with the assistance of a couple of helpers, set up in the yard.

"I do a lot of the setting up while she's at work," Tom said.

"Oh, it's nothing to come home and think, 'that wasn't there when I left.'" Connie said with a laugh. "He does a lot of shopping like that too."

Tom admits he constantly keeps an eye out for something new and unique to add to the display.

"I pass on the older decorations to family and friends," Tom said. "I already have a couple of new ones for next year."

Christmas isn't the only holiday Tom decorates for.

"I'm planning for Christmas while decorating for Halloween," Tom said.

It's also when an electric fence and security cameras are installed around the house.

"I put it up to protect the display. We had some vandalism problems a few years ago," Tom said.

"It's a shame you have to do something like that at Christmas time," Connie said. "We had 15 inflatables cut up and several sets of lights destroyed."

"She got really good at fixing the light sets and sewing up the inflatables," Tom said with pride. "After that, we set up the fence and the cameras. The Indiana State Police and the Clay County Sheriff's Department make the rounds in the area for safety, and we really appreciate it."

What can take up to a month to create, comes down in a couple of days.

"I start taking down the display a couple of days after Christmas," Tom said. "The most important part of taking things down is properly drying the inflatables so they can be stored without dry rotting. It takes three weeks for them to dry."

Whitmarsh is looking forward to the next holiday season and a special item he recently added to his decoration collection.

"I'm really excited," Tom said. "I recently acquired Bill Beeler's hand-made Ferris wheel for next year's display. We will start putting it up in October."

The lights at the Whitmarsh home, according to Tom, will remain on until a couple of days after Christmas depending upon the weather.

"It's kind of hard to have the inflatables operating while the wind blows and the temperatures really drop. It's not good on the decorations," Tom said. "I hope people enjoy it when they drive by to look at it."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

My family has enjoyed going by your house for several years!! We often go by more than once a season. Thank you for your display!!

-- Posted by HappyTimes on Mon, Dec 20, 2010, at 8:27 PM

This is great! I'll have to drive by and see it when I'm in Brazil for Christmas!

-- Posted by CountryandCityMouse on Tue, Dec 21, 2010, at 12:30 AM

Thank you for the joy that you bring! You are a wonderful couple....Merry Christmas to you!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Dec 21, 2010, at 11:57 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: