This time of year, Bill & Sandra Montgomery flip the switch (well, lots of switches) each evening at 5:30 and welcome hundreds of strangers to drive around their home. For 49 years The Christmas House has been a staple of the holiday season. Check out this video and then head on over. The lights will be on each evening until 10:00 from now until New Year's Eve.
Today in Columbus (NC) a special celebration was held on this Constitution Day. A new addition of things to see was officially unveiled in an impressive ceremony held at Veteran’s Park. A program to dedicate a set of “The Charters of Freedom” was held with plenty of pageantry. While the photos can only give you a visual idea, the sounds included the Polk County High School Band, a drummer, a bagpiper, canon fire, and speeches. The Polk County Honor Guard presented the colors and plenty of local and state dignitaries were on hand to accept this impressive collection. The program ended with the canon salute and the release of 13 white doves by L.J Meyers of Homeward Angel White Dove Releases.
The document replicas set in sturdy enclosures with two-inch glass covers include The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights. The documents are engraved into brass plates. Attendees could sign a book that will be one of the objects placed in the time capsule, which will be sealed at another upcoming event and not opened until Constitution Day on September 17, 2087. (Check back then to see photos of the capsule being opened.)
The Charters of Freedom program is part of Foundation Forward, Inc. based in Valdese. One of their goals is to have similar installations across the United States.
Click each photo to see an expanded view.
It’s always a good day to be in the park – the Landrum Community Dog Park that is. I stopped by this wonderful dog park the other day just to check it out. And at that same time two folks were checking it out with some brand new (to them) dogs.
Jennifer and Braden from Campobello were visiting with their two newish dogs. The big boy is named Sherman. He was formerly a service dog but had to be retired from work when he was injured. The little girl they’ve named Betty. She followed them home recently and instantly became part of their family.
Sherman and Betty immediately took a liking to each other and to Jennifer and Braden as well.
The Landrum Community Dog Park is located behind Stone Soup Restaurant.
Many of Foothills Faces readers know that just a couple of months into starting Foothills Faces, the Tryon Daily Bulletin invited me to write for their magazine, Life in Our Foothills. Kevin Powell, General Manager, has given me the green light to re-post some of my magazine stories. This story originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the magazine.
Bill & Sandra Montgomery's The Christmas House
Chances are if you’ve ever driven I-26 toward Exit 5 (Campobello) during this time of year you’ve noticed a cheery glow up the hill on the right. It’s impossible to miss. And for thousands of people each year, they take that exit and within minutes jumpstart their Christmas spirit. You can’t help but be moved by this incredible display of holiday lights and scenes at Bill & Sandra Montgomery’s “The Christmas House.”
Bill & Sandra look forward to the Christmas season just about as much as kids – and maybe more. It’s in Sandra’s DNA for sure and somehow or other that has taken hold in Bill.
Bill and Sandra do this for the enjoyment of others and to help remind everyone that we’re celebrating the birthday of Jesus. Sandra says, “That’s what Christmas is all about. We want to keep traditions going and to keep family close. We want something families can do to help keep them connected to each other.”
The Christmas House opens every year on Thanksgiving night and closes on New Year’s Eve. Hours are 5:30 until 10, though if you’re in line at 10…Bill keeps it open. There is no charge. Visitors can leave a donation and often Bill and Sandra will find coins left by a child in a plastic bag in the donation box or a hand-scribbled note or card. They love to read how much the children, and the adults, love this place.
If you weren’t in the holiday mood before driving in, you will be by the time you leave. And as many people do, they get back in line and go through again…and again. And you can be sure they’re already planning to be back next year. Looking into the future, Sandra wistfully mentions that she has a daughter and a granddaughter that are showing a sincere interest in keeping The Christmas House going for another 45 years and beyond.
Bill has a tagline he uses on his occasional videos he posts, and that is “Come out and see the lights and hear the sounds of Christmas at The Christmas House.” I can assure you, the invitation is genuine.
We’re the lucky ones.
More to Know
The Christmas House is located at 360 Foster Road, Inman. Your GPS will bring you right there but if that starts to fizzle, you can’t miss it. The Montgomery’s do ask that all visitors remain in their car because of plenty of trip hazards. You can ride through as many times as you wish and look for your favorite scenes from last year and new ones that are added each year.
Photo Gallery. Click each photo to see an enlarged version. Better yet, drive over to 360 Foster Road in Inman between now and December 31.
...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..