Christmas tradition still aglow in Davie County

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 21, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
MOCKSVILLE ó You might remember Betty and Jerry Graham’s Christmas lights from when they lived on Bear Poplar Road in western Rowan years ago.
They’ve since retired from their jobs at what was then Hoechst Celanese and moved to Davie County, where they continue to decorate their expansive front and back lawns with lights.
The Grahams enjoy watching passersby slow down to take in the colorful light display as they travel down Rollingwood Drive beside the Hardee’s and Food Lion on U.S. 601 North, just before you get to Davie High School if you’re traveling from Salisbury.
“People stop all the time and take pictures,” Jerry says.
Betty adds, “We have even looked out and seen a red light when they’ve been videotaping.”
The Grahams love for people to come see their lights. Betty says they go to a lot of trouble to put them up, and they want people to enjoy them.
They start around the first of November, she says, and work steadily setting up the lights for the next three weeks. Jerry adds, “We’ve got to get them ready for the day after Thanksgiving.”
They have no idea how many lights are in their display. Jerry says one snowman alone has 1,200 lights.
“And we have more cords than Wal-Mart,” he says.
The Grahams enjoy hearing from people who come to see their lights. One man who lives nearby told them his daughter loves them so much that she wants him to drive her by their house every night.
Another lady told them she drives her grandchildren by every time they come to visit.
The display includes a lighted “Merry Christmas from the Grahams” and a number outlined in red which Jerry changes every day as they count down to Christmas. Nearby is a beautiful lighted angel, a rocking horse that moves back and forth and lots of colorful Christmas trees and presents.
One side of their front lawn includes a lighted Nativity scene and words spelling out “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and “O Holy Night.”
Behind that are two little snowmen, a giant snowman, polar bear cubs, a mother penguin and three babies, two reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh and two deer grazing in the grass.
You can drive by the display several times and see something you didn’t notice before every time.
The Grahams even have Christmas music playing on their front porch with outdoor speakers for passersby to enjoy.
The inside of their house is also filled with Christmas decorations, including a miniature Victorian snow village display. Their tree and a Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus are visible through their front picture window, while a large snowman, two white geese in Christmas attire and life-size stuffed Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in matching rocking chairs are among the decorations on their front porch.
The Grahams started their light display 25 years ago when they lived on Bear Poplar Road and still love doing it. They hope some of the people who used to enjoy their lights in Rowan will drive up to Davie and see them.
Betty and Jerry Graham plan to keep their lights on through the Sunday after Christmas. Their house is the first one on the right on Rollingwood Drive. A few miles up U.S. 601, buildings in the town of Mocksville are outlined in white lights.
Both are well worth the drive.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.