In the 2003 movie Elf, Buddy proclaims, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” That may suit the storyline of the movie, but if you want mirth — and we do — it’s decorations you need. Lots of them.
The Bladen Journal is on a quest for the Bladen County home with the most Christmas spirit. Since that could take a variety of forms, let’s be specific — decorations, the more the better. This could be the home that has so many inflatables it could create its own vacuum or the one that could singlehandedly pay the power company CEO’s yearly salary. On the other hand, it might be the neighborhood with white lights and wreaths and bows hung on lamp posts, the one that could be on decorating magazines or postcards. Clark Griswold or Martha Stewart — both radiate Christmas spirit.
If either of those sound like someone you know, let the Bladen Journal know by Wednesday, Dec. 13. The one with the most spirit will be featured in a December story. Submissions — which may include photos or just a name or address — can be made by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.
The American tradition of decorating at Christmas is a long one. According to the Library of Congress, holiday lights got their start in 1880, when Thomas Edison laid strands of lights around his New Jersey laboratory. Train commuters were reportedly so amazed they called it a “fairy-land of lights.”
It was a teenager, however, who would make it a sensation. In 1917, Albert Sadacca, whose family owned a lighting company, suggested colored lights instead of the strands of white lights, and a craze was born.
Edison’s and Sadacca’s ideas have been lucrative for the American market. With 93 percent of consumers celebrating Christmas, according to the National Retail Federation, and 45 percent of them decorating, there’s plenty of money to be had. The research company says 35 percent of Americans plan to spend more than $50 per person on Christmas decorations this year, and spending for 23 percent will top $100.
It’s this latter group the Bladen Journal is looking for — the big investors. Let us know who they are, and maybe we can all share in their Christmas spirit.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.