Several families light up south Coweta

by Wes Mayer

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The Craigs' family home on 2405 Gordon Road looks just like a gingerbread house with a Peanuts-themed nativity scene in the front yard.

If you are hoping to see some more extravagant Christmas light displays before the big day rolls around, there are three homes to visit around the southern side of Coweta County.

It takes her family almost a whole month to set up their lights, said Connie Craig, but her family’s home at 2405 Gordon Road looks exactly like a gingerbread house. Thousands of lights line their home, garage and fence, and scenes are arranged with wooden cut-out gingerbread men, snowmen and Santa’s little helpers. The Craigs have also built a nativity scene portrayed with Peanuts characters and a full-sized Santa sleigh with little reindeer for visitors to enjoy.

The home belongs to Craig’s father, John Williams, who is 90 years old. Their family has lived on the property for five generations, Craig said, and everybody helps. She said probably 25 to 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped set up the display this year, and it still took a month.

Craig said visitors wanting to get a closer look at their decorations are welcome to drive up their driveway and pull off to the side — she said children love hopping in the sleigh for photos. Their home will have its decorations on from 6:30 to 10 p.m. every night until New Year’s Day.

The Bentons on 155 Hannah Road also worked for an entire month setting up their decorations, starting right after Halloween, said Pattie Benton. Benton estimates their yard is filled with close to 100,000 lights, and said she and her husband, Charlie, have been collecting decorations since her son, Justin, was 2 years old. He’s now 22.

The Bentons’ yard is filled with decorations. They have Christmas light animals, arches and trees — Benton said she almost lost her religion setting up their newest one, which has around 1,700 lights — blow-up characters and holiday signs. The Bentons also have a festive hot air balloon with Santa sitting in the basket.

The Bentons also have a pet bull, but his yard is separate from that of the decorations.

Benton said visitors are welcome to drive up their driveway and walk through their decoration-filled yard. She said the lights will be on until New Year’s, and they are usually turned on from 5:30 to 11 p.m. during the week and will be on a little later on the weekends. This Saturday, Benton said members of her church will be visiting her home and she may have hot chocolate available.

The Coopers on 620 Holbrook Road have been collecting their decorations for more than 30 years, said Glenn Cooper, who sets up his home’s display with his wife, Susan. Now, they estimate about 40,000 to 50,000 lights cover their yard, Cooper said, and they do it all for the grandchildren.

The Coopers have decorations and lights covering their yard, which they have divided into a North Pole/ toyland scene and a winter snowland scene, Cooper said. With a classic nativity scene as their central decoration, the Coopers’ yard is covered in lines of lights, Christmas light animals and trees, blow-up and plastic decorations and a number of Santas, angels, and toy soldiers.

Cooper said the family began decorating the week of Thanksgiving. They plan on leaving the lights on until Dec. 27, and usually have them turned on each night from 6 to 10 p.m.

* * * 

Here are some other stops:

• The Pickfords, 1605 Old Highway 85, Senoia.

• The Lamberts, 40 Camelia Circle, in the Lake Hills neighborhood off U.S. 29 North.

• The Stewart home along with several neighbors in Acropolis Court, located in the back of the neighborhood off Macedonia Road and Pegasus Trace.

• The Walkers, 6 Patriot Lane, in Avery Park off U.S. Highway 29 North, Newnan.

• The Yarbroughs, 205 Brittain Way, in Timberidge off U.S. 29 in north Coweta.

• Downtown Newnan where the city has lighted trees and buildings.

(In the weeks leading up to Christmas, The Newnan Times-Herald is featuring local light displays. If you have a light display you are proud of, contact Wes Mayer at the Times-Herald office at 770-253-1576, Extension 724 or email him at wesley@newnan.com. We ask that you not contact us about a friend or neighbor because we want to have permission from the owner of the display. Some people may not want theirs in the newspaper.)




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