By Travis Sloat
‘Tis the season for all things red and green, and Fort Gibson is no stranger to decking the halls and making the town bright during the month of December. From icicles to inflatable snowmen, from Willey Road to Garrison Street, homes can be seen glowing all over town.
Tolly and Dawn Pinkston, otherwise known as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, moved to Fort Gibson from San Diego and are celebrating their first Christmas here. Dawn said they are second generation “Clauses.”
“My dad and mom were Santa and Mrs. Claus,” she said. “They passed it down to us. We saw about 600 kids today, at the school, at an Awanas group and at Dogwood Creek.”
The Pinkston house can be seen from east Walnut Street at the corner of Pierce Street. The inside of the home is decorated with more than 285 models of Santa, and Pinkston said they leave them up year round to remind them of the importance of the season.
“We believe people should treat each other the same year round,” she said. “People have a tendency to be very nice to each other during the holidays and then change at the first of the year. We wish it could be Christmas every day of the year.”
Kelly Smith and Eunice Brown both have something in common even though they live on opposite sides of Fort Gibson.
Both of their husbands love Christmas decorations, and both of them deck out their homes every year when the season rolls around.
“My husband Gary loves decorating for Christmas,” Smith said. “I don’t even bother giving him a budget anymore. He just goes and gets a little more each year. We love Christmas.”
Brown said her husband Mickey may not feel like pulling the decorations out every year, but he does it anyway.
“I try to get him not to do as many each year,” Brown said. “He would do even more if I let him. He loves Christmas, and he loves decorations. I joke with people about them being blinded when they turn the corner and see our house.”
The Brown’s home, which can be seen on Garrison Street just across from First Baptist Fort Gibson, is covered in multicolor lights and has an abundance of light-up wildlife in the back yard.