Rincon man spreads holiday cheer with Christmas light display

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 11:32 AM EST
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RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - A man in Rincon is spreading holiday cheer by lighting his front yard with Christmas lights.

Whether you want to drive the polar express or dance with Santa and Mrs. Claus, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Padgett’s Christmas light display.

Paul Padgett says he has always loved Christmas and the holiday has been his favorite since he was a kid. As an adult, he said that the joy never disappeared and only grew stronger.

Padgett said that he begins working on his Christmas light extravaganza in October and although it takes months to put together. He says it’s “a labor of love.”

He added, " It’s a lot of work but I get to see the children’s faces and their parents bringing them out, it just warms my heart.”

He said just this year his heart has been warmed by the reactions he’s gotten from the community.

“I had a man that I had never met, he and his wife were here, and he was tearing up and he says my name is Scott he says ‘can I give you a hug,’ he said ‘I’ve been changed tonight.’ I went, really, I went yes you can give me a hug and my daughter was sitting back there and she was like who is that man hugging you and I was like we just met we are new friends and that was a touching moment this year.”

Padgett adds that he thinks connecting with others is so important, especially around the holidays. “A lot of people don’t know their neighbors and socialize as they did in the past.”

He is grateful that he has gotten the chance to know his. Which is why his light display is held in memory of his neighbor and friend Don Gatewood who recently passed away.

“So the whole family was really touched by a lot of sadness this year and his wife Mrs. Kim Gatewood was right by the driveway first night and we just bawled and she hugged my dad and she said ‘you don’t know how much this means to us.’”

Mr. Padgett says Mr. Gatewood was a great man.

“He would ride by when I’m out there working on the lights when I’m out here and he’d roll down the window and he’d say ‘boy, better you than me’ and that was Mr. Don Gatewood.”

Paul hopes to brighten people’s lives like his neighbor Don brightened his life. “I just want everybody to be able to enjoy them, that’s what it’s all about,” said Paul.

The light display is open to the community located at 156 Oakview Road in Rincon and will be open until New Year’s Eve. The Padgett’s Christmas lights will be on Sun- Thursday from dusk-9:30 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from dusk to 11 p.m.