Pilots flying over the Westchester subdivision just outside the Statesboro city limits might confuse the home of Ken Hagin as a landing strip thanks to his festive Christmas light display. Hagin’s home at 213 Shuman Drive and has a yard full of Christmas décor.
Hagin originally started his decorating project in 2017 as a way to avoid hanging the traditional icicle lights he and his family – wife, Debbie, and son and daughter Blake, 34, and Ashton, 30 – had always used to adorn their home.
“I disliked putting those lights on the house,” he said. “It just seemed like it took forever to put them up and it was always a constant watch to make sure all the lights were working. In early 2017, my daughter told me about how she saw this picture of someone's house who had a Grinch stealing the lights off of it. She said you can get one of those and put it up and you will only have to hang one string of the lights. I didn't catch on at first.”
Hagin thought that Ashton wanted to decorate the home with a Grinch theme.
“Fathers can be so slow at times,” he joked.
The more that he and Ashton discussed the decoration, the more he understood that the Grinch would be stealing the decorations — meaning there would be need for less lights. After finally finding one for sale (and the price tag attached), Hagin decided to find a pattern and actually build it himself.
He said had had done woodworking before – building wooden items for other holidays like Halloween, Easter and Thanksgiving.
“We have always decorated the yard with something. It might have been just a few lighted figures and always with the (wooden) manger. I would say it started small and keeps growing.”
After finding a pattern for the Grinch, he cut it out, painted it and stopped…
“(I) thought to myself there is no way I can just put up the Grinch by itself,” he said, thinking about all the other characters associated with the Grinch. “He would have to have Cindy Lou Who and Max, if nothing else. There was not going to be enough time to build these other two characters, so the Grinch would have to wait until 2018 to be put out.”
In 2018, Hagin found patterns for Cindy, Max, other Whos and various other Grinch-themed items, so he crafted those to join the Grinch for his debut in 2018. But each year, he adds more.
“My wife said the yard is getting full and she can’t imagine me adding any more,” he said. “She says it is so bright now that someone could land a plane in our neighborhood!”
Hagin disagrees with Debbie though, and said, “I see plenty of space to put more! My daughter and I laugh now because this may be more work than hanging the icicle lights.”
Upon driving past the Hagin home, you’ll see amongst the Grinch and the Whos that there is a nativity scene complete with Mary, Joseph, a baby Jesus, animals and an angel.
The Nativity scene is symbolically centered in the yard.
“The Nativity is in the center because without the birth of our Savior we would not be celebrating Christmas,” he said. “It has always been in our yard each year. He is the real reason for the season.”
There are multiple Grinches in the yard—but one has a heart that says one of the most meaningful lines from the famous Dr. Seuss book and movie, “Maybe perhaps Christmas means just a little bit more” and it is located next to the Nativity.
Hagin said, “I would not put any of the other decorations up without a manger in my yard. I have to give thanks to God for all the many blessings he has given me and my family.”
There’s no known rivalry in the neighborhood regarding Christmas décor – friendly or otherwise, according to Hagin, and he’s pleased to see that others are taking the time to decorate.
He said many neighbors compliment the decorations and thank the Hagin family for decorating.
“My wife says that some of the neighborhood kids refer to us as ‘The Grinch House.’”
And, proving that he is the furthest from a Grinch you can be, Hagin said, “A buddy of mine asks me why I do it and I tell him when I hear that someone gets joy out of seeing it or a kid wants to ride by the house real slow so they can get a good look, it makes me feel good that my family and I have put joy in their hearts.”