If you have lived in, or near the Mansfield area for very long, you’ll probably know what this article is all about from the title, and image. But, do you know how, and why it all began? We didn’t either. But, it’s interesting.
Longtime residents of Abbott, Mike, and Shelia Carson await early Fall, with a focus on Christmas. In fact, for the short time that their lights are up each year, they’re making revisions, and additions for the next year.
“Shelia has always enjoyed Christmas lights, and it’s something that has always made her really happy” stated Mike Carson. “Several years ago, we passed by Grant, and Carla Sharp’s house and Shelia mentioned that she wished that we could do something like that.”
A simple drive along a road would soon play a important role in not only the Carson’s family, but all those who pass by their house on Highway 71 just west of Abbott, and stop to visit their lighting display which is set to music that can be heard on 89.1 FM.
Mike (aka, Clark Griswold) went to work on his plans for surprising Shelia the following year with a Christmas display of his own. And so, the tradition began December 2009. Now, their grandchildren look forward to assisting them in the work it takes to put up the display. It’s a time for memories, and tradition for the Carson’s.
Mike added, “Shelia says we need to go bigger and better every year, and we never have enough “stuff” in the yard.” In typical Shelia spirit, she has also been known to state, “Mike! We need more lights!!!”
Although the tradition was initially started to bring a smile to Shelia, it’s enjoyment goes beyond their family. “We hope that those that stop by and listen to the music, pull thru our driveway to watch the lights, are as Blessed as we are in doing it. To watch the excitement on the kids faces when they see them, makes all the hard work worth it” added Mike.
Editor’s Note: Mike, and Shelia Carson would like to let everyone know that it’s perfectly OK to come through their driveway to enjoy the lights, in fact, they insist. Highway 71 is too dangerous to pull off and look. And, if you’ll play close attention, you may just see Santa, and Mrs. Claus in their yard very soon.
Thank you for your time to show us around, Mike and Shelia. Merry Christmas!