“We started doing this back when our two children were young,” said Rose Olmsted this afternoon in her living room. Now young adults, she said “I still like to see the faces of children when they look at the Christmas display” in the front yard at 73 North Street on the Hill.
“It started out very small,” she said. Tim, her husband, does most of the work and Rose assists him. The display started small. The first year only the flower bed in front was decorated with colored lights. This year the display has over 1,000 lights in it. Every year it gets a little bigger. While Tim builds as much of it as he can, the family starts looking for new pieces for it right after the holidays end. Next week, the four of them will go to HomeDepot and other places looking for additions for next year. Rose said the family’s electric bill is $200. each for November and December. They budget well in advance.
This year there were about 10 “blow-ups” in the display. As of today, there is only 1 left sitting atop the fence. Tim took down the others immediately after Christmas because they are so suspectable to wind damage. The entire display will come down on New Year’s Day.
Next year Rose wants to add a family of deer beside the house. And sometime, perhaps next year the Olmsted’s want to add music to the display.
“It’s definitely a family venture,” said Rose. Ashley and Jonathan, both students at Southern Maine Community College continue to be as involved as ever. Rose works at Maine Medical Center and Tim works in advertising. He’s a descendent of F. Law Olmstead, the famous landscaper. He designed Central Park in New York City and his company planned the Eastern Promenade.