GALION — A lot of people decorate their homes for the Christmas season, but one area resident goes all out. The slow-moving traffic on the road outside her home is a testament to the likeability of her festive holiday decor.
Mary Flohr, 5180 State Route 19, just west of Galion, loves the holidays and adds to her massive collection of Christmas lights and decorations each year. This year she special ordered wooden characters from a gentleman in California in the forms of Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, the abominable snowman, and other characters from the beloved TV Christmas special. People can even spy the Heat Miser and Frosty the Snowman peeking around a corner from her front yard.
“I live on a busy street and this is my way to give back to the community,” Flohr said. “A lot of people slow down to look at my yard decorations. It’s neat to see the people really enjoy it.”
Flohr moved into her home in 2004, and she only did minimal decorating at that time.
“I decorated a little bit and every year I just add more and more stuff,” she said
Flohr admitted her collecting her holiday decor was a slow process, as she started off with nothing. It took year to turn into the massive display people see today.
“I buy some of the decorations after Christmas, but a lot of the stuff is what I like to have,” she said. “I’ve been eye-balling the yard decorations for some time, and I got those out of California. I saw them on internet. I look for different kinds of decorations on the internet and — lo and behold — I found these.
“I kind of told the guy what I wanted and he created them for me. They are all hand-painted. Next year I hope to get ‘Whoville.’ When they get delivered the boxes are like 70 pounds and the poor UPS guy was having a hard time bringing them. And that was just one box.”
Flohr not only has yard decorations. She likes lights, too.
“My house is so lit up it reminds me of my favorite movie, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’,” Flohr said.
It takes her nearly a month, going nonstop on her days off work, to put up all the decorations, not only outside, but inside her house, as well.
The interior of her farmhouse looks like a department store during the holidays. A massive Christmas tree is pac with ornaments she has collected over the years: a life-sized Santa Claus, a six-foot snowman, a Rudolph character complete with a blinking red nose, and enough lights to line an airport runway.
“And just like National Lampoon … year after year I kept blowing my fuse,” Flohr said. “It 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 would go dark because I had so much plugged in. So this year I actually had an electrician come out and he put power boxes on their own separate circuits and it hasn’t blown yet.”
With so many lights, Flohr admitted her electric bill goes up quite a bit for a couple months, as she keeps the decorations up through the first of the year.
“To offset the cost of my electricity bill. I stop using my hot tub for a couple months,” she laughed. “Because when I turn that on the power really goes, so I’d rather save the electricity for the Christmas lights.”
Talking about her Christmas tree, Flohr said the way it is decorated is kind of unique.
“It pretty much replicates everything about me,” she said. “I have ornaments from when my boys (Kenneth and Timothy) were born in 1998 and 1999, and then it goes all the way through their school years. They are dated and they include what sports they were in, when they graduated from high school and now that they are in college. The decorations kind of work themselves from the top to the bottom. And one part of the ornaments is all the many places we went as a family, the places we traveled to.”
Flohr said she loves the holidays and she is happy to see the sparkle in the eyes of her family, friends and passersby as they enjoy the Christmas lights and the magic of the season.
Mary Flohr, who lives on Ohio 19 west of Galion, moved into her home in 2004. And since then, her passion for holiday decorating — inside and out — has grown each year
Santa Claus is just one of the characters who invades the home of Mary Flohr each year. Outside the home, visible to area drivers and holiday sight-seers are Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, the abominable snowman, and other characters from the beloved TV Christmas special. If you look closer, you might even see the Heat Miser and Frosty the Snowman.
Frosty the Snowman is taking a break from wintry weather inside Mary Flohr’s home on State Route 19, just west of Galion.