Lighting the way to Christmas
Published 11:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2015
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Prospect now that John and Nancy Mottley have decorated for the holiday season.
“I started doing this in 1973 — been putting up right many lights ever since,” Mottley said.
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Mottley began work on his holiday display in September.
“It amounts to about two-and-a-half months of my year,” he said of his annual Christmas display. “It takes a month to put them up, another to keep them going for a month and two weeks to take them down.”
Every year through the month of December, the Mottley home located at 777 Peaks Road, glows with the spirit of Christmas — both inside and out. Festive lights outlining the house spill over into the yard filled with a variety of holiday displays
“I bought another snowman from Walmart last night,” Mottley said. “I noticed the one I have was drooping — I think he played out.”
A playful spirit is clearly evident in the Mottleys’ décor. On the roof Santa and his reindeer wait expectantly for their Christmas Eve lift-off, while in the yard below snowmen frolic beside Santa who is lounging in a hammock.
“I love Christmas,” Mottley said. “People seem to enjoy my decorations, and hopefully it will remind a few of them about Christ.”
The “reason for the season” is evident at the Mottley home — a nativity scene holds the place of honor by the front door.
“Our favorite is the nativity scene,” Mrs. Mottley said.
Inside the house, which Mottley built himself, more Christmas treasures await.
“We invite everybody in,” Mottley said.
“If they want to come in, they’re welcome,” his wife said.
If Santa and Mrs. Claus had a summer home in Virginia, this would be it.
Every nook and cranny of the Mottley home is filled with Christmas keepsakes. On every shelf and in every corner, dolls of every size and description mingle with angels and vintage toys.
A favorite of young and old alike is the Christmas village.
Carolers stroll through a snow-covered miniature town in the Mottley living room where Christmas travelers wait in a festively decorated station for the Santa Claus train to arrive.
“I have about 50 lighted house,” Mrs. Mottley said. “The little kids love the train — they just sit there and watch.”
Watching for the annual holiday display at the Mottley home has become a favorite pastime for many in the community.
“Reggie Eggleston comes this way every night just to see what we put up that day,” Mrs. Mottley said.
“A lot of people come and stop on the street — it’s right on the curve of the road, so they can be seen both ways,” Mottley said.
In the past, Mrs. Mottley added, town buses brought Farmville residents to see the display.
“One time a group of college kids parked up on the hill and came down — fell over the wires in the yard,” she said. “We invited them in, too.”
The cost of the annual display, Mottley noted, has decreased due the to introduction of LED lights. He estimates the addition to his electric bill for the season is roughly $100.
“The LEDs save me a lot of trouble,” he said. “Before LEDs I was forever replacing bulbs.”
Another modern invention — the timer — has made decoration maintenance easier.
“I run the lights every night from 4:30 to 11,” he said. “I have three timers, so I don’t have to get up and cut them off.”
Mottley plans to keep his display in place until January 1.
“People keep coming until we turn the lights off,” Mrs. Mottley said.
With or without lights, one thing is for sure. The spirit of Christmas will continue to glow in the Mottley home in Prospect.