My dad was an electrical engineer and that really showed at Christmas time. This house is the first I lived in...for my first 3 years. Dad's Christmas light display won him a plaque award in a decorating contest organized by the Haverhill newspaper. In addition to all the multicolored lights and the two story foil Christmas tree, Rudolph's nose blinked red and Santa waved at passersby. Well, Santa continually waved...even at nobody. In those days the house was painted white. With the old fashioned BIG bulb strings of lights, it was all brightly lit. This was the first of many more Christmas displays of future years.
Coolidge Avenue, Haverhill, MA 1957
We moved to the neighboring town of Groveland and the tradition continued. For several more Christmases, Santa, the reindeer, and the life-sized, three dimensional sleigh filled with foil wrapped gifts adorned our lawn. After that was the life-sized barn, with all the participants...from Baby Jesus to the Wise Men...also large as life. Our cat liked to sleep in the hay with Baby Jesus. I don't think he minded...Jesus that is...the cat just assumed it was her territory. There was the giant Christmas 'card' that filled the arch of the breezeway and Santa going down the chimney. Santa in the chimney was a short lived display...only one year. Dad liked a roaring fire!
Coolidge Avenue, Haverhill, MA 2010
So, that first house in Haverhill is still there and every once in a while we take a drive by. Things change. It's been vinyl sided in gray and the garage has been enlarged, driveway widened. The bones of my folks first house are still there though, kept nice and neat.