That glow from the northwest side of town isn’t the North Star; it’s the reflection from the Polk residence on Baldwin Street.
Sylvia and Leroy Polk have decorated their home at 107 Baldwin St. in Statesboro for 45 years — as long as they have lived there. But in each of the past 10 years, the couple has intensified their annual Christmas efforts, “adding a little each year,” Sylvia said.
The couple has no children, but Christmas is still a special time for them. They look forward to decorating every year and discovered this year that if they ever stopped, a number of people would be disappointed.
“Even the mailman asked us, ‘Do y’all know how many people you bless?’” she said.
Their yard is ablaze each December night with lights and displays, many of them handmade by Leroy. The most eye-catching of all is a glowing, larger-than-life cake replica that reads “Happy Birthday Jesus.” There’s also a church that plays Christmas music, filled with a miniature congregation and choir; a lighthouse; a see-saw; and the “North Pole Washateria,” where Santa’s suit hangs on a clothesline, with a sign that reads “We suds Santa duds.”
Because of health issues and other challenges, the Polks almost decided to skip decorating this year — but when neighbors and friends protested, the pair went to work with renewed enthusiasm to create the annual delight.
Why do they take on such a task each year?
“Because we love the Lord, we love Christmas, and he is the reason for the season,” Sylvia said.
To further illustrate that point, for the third time this year, the Polks will celebrate the holiday with a “birthday party” for Jesus on Christmas Eve. As visitors drive or walk past the home on Saturday, they will be greeted by Mrs. Claus (Sylvia) and offered punch and cookies or hot cider and cupcakes.
The atmosphere is so welcoming and cheery, it would move even Ebenezer Scrooge to enjoy the infectious Christmas spirit.
The scene in the yard isn’t the couple’s only tribute to the holiday; Sylvia goes all out to bring Christmas inside as well.
“I got just about every room decorated,” she said. “I stopped at my bedroom.”
Of course there is the Christmas tree. Then there is a collection of drummer boy nutcrackers, nativity scenes, Christmas curtains and a Christmas village. The dining room table is decked out with Christmas china. There are Christmas canisters and pot holders in the kitchen, and the bathroom towels have candy canes on them.
“We just love it. The older I get, I just love when the season comes,” she said, excitement evident in her voice.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.