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Garris Family lights a New Year’s tradition

The Garris Family lights are a New Year’s tradition. Photos by Jeff Kramer

One Colleton County family is preparing for its annual New Year’s Eve tradition of offering Colleton residents an end to the holiday season with their handmade Christmas light display.
For the past 14 years, Pat and David Garris have been creating their own Christmas Light display at their rural Colleton home. Using his own welding methods to build the pieces, David Garris has been constructing the original lighting displays for years.
The display has grown over the years, with more than 100 handcrafted pieces now on the property. This year, they even incorporated a few blow-figures into their original iron-crafted displays. “We are hoping to make some more new ones in 2016 to add to this for next year, and for years to come,” said Victoria Garris, granddaughter to Pat and David Garris.
The couple begin working on their holiday display in September to prepare for the carloads of families that come to see it, said Victoria. There are also those who get out to see the displays up close.
“I have stayed home each year to help my grandma fix the displays and put them back up, to make sure they are all working they should for everyone to enjoy,” she said.
When asked why they continue with the work year-after-year, the answers came easily. “We like to see all of the kids’ faces when they ride by, and see how happy it makes them just to see it,” said Pat Garris, who began making the display with her husband, David, for Victoria when she was younger.
Victoria wants to pass the family tradition down to her own son, John David. “We have been passing this down from generation to generation, when it comes to sharing the light display and the work,” said Victoria. “I’m glad that I have my little boy now to grow up and see these lights. It brings us a lot of happiness just to see him look at them each night and see how surprised he is to see them night after night,” she said. “He is so amazed by it.”
“It’s something I’m excited about to give to my son. It’s an important part of what this family does for the community,” said Victoria. “This brings everyone so much happiness every year. And it means a lot to me and my family to do this.”
The display sits along the Garris’ property on Garris Avenue in Ruffin. It opens to the public after Thanksgiving, and stays open through New Year’s Eve.

Heather Walters (698 Posts)