By CAROLE DAVIS
Guess what I’m mailing to you on this day in the Starkville Daily News? It’s your Christmas card which will arrive in a white envelope, addressed especially to you, stamped with a kiss and hug! We’ve got 24 days left until Christmas, and I know that I’m sending my card out early, but I want to skip all the hustle and bustle down at the Starkville Post Office during our busy holidays. Inside I am writing you a note that says, “You will never know the great opportunity and pleasure it is for me to share my paintings and artistic creations with each one of you as an artist.”
This is an artistic creation of our very Southern front porch painted in a gray/blue color. We live on the corner of Louisville and Wood Streets where over 12,000 cars, buses, trucks, bikers, walkers and joggers pass up and down these streets coming and going night and day. From 2003 to 2006 we restored my family home for six generations, and I decided one day to create an artsy front porch so everyone who passed by could enjoy something wonderful each month of the year around to look at as they passed by. I hoped each of you who passed by would glance towards the porch, smile, giggle and laugh, and maybe your own spirits would be lifted up as you went on your way to your mundane everyday work and play. Living our lives should and can be happy and fun. I thought maybe our porch would be uplifting, and would give each one of you a skip in your step reminding all of us to live each day to its fullest!
My Christmas porch creation is titled “Here Comes Santa Claus!” This year the porch is completely filled with real characters dressed in all red and white.
Let’s together read my story left to right starting at the top and going to the bottom of the page. The main character to the upper far left is none other than Mrs. Santa who is quite a pretty, beautiful lady instead of a gentleman. She is Mrs. Claus and her real name is Dottie, a “wo-mannequin.” She is the largest human-like figure on the porch. She is wearing her tiny Santa glasses on the tip of her nose! She has a red furry suit, white trimmings, and a hat to match. In her hands she has huge lime and dark green colors of Christmas cedar tree foliage mixed with red holly berries. She is sitting in her antique Victorian white wicker rocker by the white screened door.
The largest and middle picture on my card is the entire porch itself. You are looking and about to enter the first bay window entrance way. There are three bay windows in our home. There is an entrance way on this porch, a second bay window above this porch of the front upstairs area and a third one on the south side bay window in our downstairs master bed room. I caught just the red and white stripes of our American flag slightly blowing in the wind that day. At the top you will see the tip of the porch light which is an antique fixture which hung in the Goodman’s store in downtown Starkville back in the early 1900s. They were such a loved and respected old family who settled here and made so many fine contributions to our community. I discovered this old light in Jimmy and Nora Cole’s Boardtown Trading Post antique store. What a treasure that belonged as the main light in the Goodman’s store which is a way is a reminder of Starkville’s 175-year history. I’m so happy and honored to have the Goodman’s light hanging over and above our front door on our old front porch!
Let your eyes go to the two white wooden rocking chairs. See the green cushions. Spot Mr. Mississippi State University mascot, Mr. Bulldawg. Standing beside Mr. Bulldawg is tiny little Miss Bully Belle and her dawg house.
Behind the two Bulldawgs is fat, stuffed, jolly Santa rocking in his antique bent wood child’s rocking chair. He is too fat, and he definitely needs to get more exercise and go on a diet after this Christmas season, agree?
Standing on a child’s colorful deacon’s wooden bench dressed in all red, white and black stockings is none other than Miss Minnie Mouse sporting gigantic red Mary Jane soft furry shoes. Her head is topped off with her Santa hat perched right on the tip top of her head just leaning to one side. Find her tiny lime green Christmas tree that she is clutching in her tiny hands.
Next to “wo-mannequin” Dottie is a little “wo-mannequin,” Mollie Golly. She has on her Santa dress and hat, white stockings and black patent leather Mary Jane shoes. In her hands she is holding a big red bag with a shiny red card with a special name written on it. Wonder what is inside the red Christmas bag, and what in the world is the gift?
Sitting next to Mollie Golly is her friend, Miss Priscilla rocking in her white child’s rocking chair. She is sporting a casual large teen shirt. Look at her mopey, tangled up hairdo with her Santa hat plopped on her head sitting side ways. She is sassy looking with her hot pink shoes on her her crossed little legs because she just could not find her red Christmas shoes anywhere on her messy closet floor! Miss Priscilla has her own unique personality! Can’t you just tell how cute she must be? She a stuffed, fun loving doll!
Look and see a slim glittery Santa standing by another Victorian rocker. He is waving to you, and he is just about to come down the brick steps to shake your hand. He lights up at night and has his very own personality! I think he is sort of handsome too, don’t you?
At the far south side of the porch you’ll spot a real tin Mr Donkey sporting his huge white dark glasses resting on the tip end of his nose. He looks so spiffy with his red and white Santa hat on his tall ears! See his perfect green neck and red body. He is perfectly dressed in the Christmas colors of green and red!
At the far north side of the porch there is an invisible to your eyes right now a tall yellow giraffe that you don’t see in this creation, but Miss Giraffe is there with her red rose in her mouth and her Santa hat on her ears. You’ll have to ride by and see her yourself. She makes the ninth and odd number of characters on our Christmas porch.
It’s Dec, 2 and the first day of Advent on our Christian calendar. In our Christian churches here in Starkville, we’ll celebrate the birth of Christ on Dec. 25. On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, we’ll be going to our annual candlelight Christmas Services, sing our familiar Christmas carols and hear the story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.
Your very first Christmas card has just arrived and inside you’ll read this slipped in very special note: “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus Lane,” which is 501 Louisville St.’s front porch to view nine dressed up Santa Clauses sitting, standing and rocking. Peep inside the old screened in door and look beyond the screen and into the wavy glass 101-year-old front door to our 12-foot, brightly lit Christmas tree filled with white gift packages, tied with red velvet ribbons, and you will suddenly hear a happy, loud, jolly voice singing, “You better better watch out, better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why.” Santa Claus is dressed in red and white, and he’s coming to town!
Carole McReynolds Davis is a local artist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .