Marcus Larson/News-Register##Felicity, Ricky, Naomi and Valentina Edwards stand in their yard, which they helped their mother, Michelle, decorate for St. Patrick s Day. Not pictured is Burgundy. The family goes all out for every holiday.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Felicity, Ricky, Naomi and Valentina Edwards stand in their yard, which they helped their mother, Michelle, decorate for St. Patrick's Day. Not pictured is Burgundy. The family goes all out for every holiday.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Every day's a holiday

The St. Patrick’s Day display, part of a changing array of holiday decorations, attracts attention from children passing on school buses, from cars driving in the neighborhood south of Mac High, and from people walking or jogging past. Parents push strollers on 14th Street, pausing to let their toddlers ogle the lights and glitter.

“We do this for ourselves and for the people who enjoy seeing it,” Edwards said.

She grew up in a household that didn’t decorate. Maybe that’s why she goes all out, not just for St. Patrick’s Day, but for every holiday.

She goes all out not only for old standbys like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July, but also days most people make less of a fuss over, such as Groundhog Day.

“We cater to everybody,” said Edwards, who will soon be bringing out the ornaments for her favorite holiday, Easter.

She started decorating soon after she adopted her biological nephew, Ricky Edwards, and nieces, Burgundy, Felicity, Valentina and Naomi Edwards.

“It was a fun thing for us to do together,” she said, adding that the kids do most of the decorating these days. 

She involved her daycare kids, as well. Instead of painting and gluing at random, they worked on pictures and signs for the coming holiday.

She put up every Santa, smiling Jack-o-lantern, Easter bunny and glittery heart for everyone to see.

“All the kids would look forward to the next holiday,” she said. “It was fun, entertaining, and gave us something to do.”

The Edwards family lived on Shirley Ann drive in Southwest McMinnville then. Neighbors told her they loved her holiday spirit.

If her yard was bare too long, she said, “People I didn’t even know knocked on the door and asked where the decorations were.” She realized then, “It’s not just fun, it’s therapeutic.

“People need this little bit of cheer and happiness. We have to keep up our spirits. We’re in trouble if we don’t.”

The Edwards moved to Carlton for a short while. She continued displaying ornaments there, and received a “Christmas Spirit” award one year.

Four years ago, she bought a house at 14th and Galloway in McMinnville.

She chose it for its spaciousness and history. The dwelling was designed and built in the 1940s by Harold Davis, and had been home to only three other families.

It’s close to her children’s schools and on the bus route. In fact, bus drivers sometimes stop to tell her how much they enjoy her holiday adornments — and to ask when the theme will next change.

Passersby contribute to the decorative effort on occasion, Edwards said. “We’ve found gifts on our doorstep,” she said, recalling items such as lights and an inflatable carousel.

People also send Christmas and Easter cards, along with thank you cards, saying they appreciate the holiday experiences. “They say, ‘We love to see what’s next,’” she said.

Edwards did get scolded once, but not because of her abundance of holiday spirit. Rather, a car pulled up immediately after she had taken down one set in preparation for putting up another.

“Where are the decorations?” the driver asked, noting she’d made a special trip to see them. Edwards assured her the lawn would be decked out soon.

Since the family has lived at the intersection, Edwards said, they’ve only had a couple problems with litter. In fact, she said, she’s been very impressed by Mac High students who pass by. 

“They’re very respectful,” she said. “I respect them and treat them well, and they respect me.”

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