GALION – Lots of people decorate their homes for the Christmas season, but one local resident is going out of his way. The slow traffic on the road in front of his house testifies to the sympathy of his festive holiday decor.
Mary Flohr, 5180 State Route 19, just west of Galleon, loves the holidays and adds to her extensive collection of Christmas lights and decorations each year. This year, she specially commissioned wooden figures from a Californian gentleman in the forms of Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snowman, and other characters from the beloved Christmas TV special. People can even spy on Heat Miser and Frosty the Snowman sneaking around the corner of his front yard.
âI live on a busy street and this is my way of giving back to the community,â said Flohr. âA lot of people slow down to look at the decorations in my yard. It’s nice to see that people really like it.
Flohr moved into her house in 2004, and she did little decorating during that time.
âI decorated a bit and every year I add more and more things,â she said.
Flohr admitted that collecting her holiday decor was a slow process because she started with nothing. It took years to become the massive display that people see today.
âI buy some decorations after Christmas, but a lot of things are what I like to have,â she said. âI’ve been looking at the court decorations for a while and bought them in California. I saw them on the internet. I am looking for different types of decorations on the internet and, voila, I have found them.
âI kind of told the guy what I wanted and he created them for me. They are all hand painted. Next year I hope to have ‘Whoville.’ When they are delivered the boxes weigh around 70 pounds and the poor guy from UPS was having a hard time getting them. And it was only one box.
Flohr doesn’t just have garden decorations. She also loves lights.
âMy house is so brightly lit that it reminds me of my favorite movie, ‘National Lampoon Christmas Vacation’,â Flohr said.
It takes him almost a month, without a break on his days off, to put up all the decorations, not only outside, but also inside his house.
The interior of his farm looks like a department store during the holidays. A massive Christmas tree is filled with ornaments she’s collected over the years: a life-size Santa Claus, a six-foot snowman, a Rudolph character with a flashing red nose, and enough lights to line up a Airport Runway.
âAnd just like National Lampoonâ¦ year after year, I kept blowing my fuse,â Flohr said. âIt was a nightmare. I would spend hours decorating and the lights would work for a little while and then they would blow. My whole house was going dark because I had so plugged in. So this year I brought in an electrician. and it put power boxes on their own separate circuits and it hasn’t blown up yet.
With so many lights on, Flohr admitted that her electric bill goes up dramatically for a few months, as she keeps the decorations until the first of the year.
âTo offset the cost of my electricity bill. I stop using my spa for a few months, âshe said with a laugh. âBecause when I turn it on, the power really comes on, so I prefer to save electricity for Christmas lights. “
Speaking of his Christmas tree, Flohr said the way it was decorated is quite unique.
âIt pretty much reproduces everything on me,â she said. âI have adornments from the birth of my boys (Kenneth and Timothy) in 1998 and 1999, and that continues throughout their school years. They are dated and they include the sports they were in, when they graduated from high school and now that they are in college. The decorations sort of work from top to bottom. And part of the adornments are all the many places we’ve been as a family, the places we’ve traveled.
Flohr said she loves the holidays and is happy to see the sparkle in the eyes of family, friends and passers-by as they take in the Christmas lights and the magic of the season.
Mary Flohr, who lives in Ohio 19 west of Galleon, moved into her home in 2004. And since then her passion for holiday decorating – inside and out – has grown every day. year
Photo by Jodi Myers
Santa Claus is just one of the characters who invade Mary Flohr’s house every year. Outside the house, visible to area drivers and vacationers are Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, the abominable Snowman, and other characters from the beloved Christmas TV special. If you take a closer look, you might even see the Heat Miser and Frosty the Snowman.
Photo by Jodi Myers
Frosty the Snowman takes a break from the wintry weather inside Mary Flohr’s home on State Route 19, just west of Galleon.