Visiting Glenda Upchurch’s home on Skate Rink Road — also known as County Road 316 — in Carrollton, located just off of Highway 82, has become a Christmas tradition for many. Upchurch decorates her home inside and out with lights, 30 Christmas trees with ornaments she’s collected over the years, a Christmas Village, three nativity scenes, and her collection of Santas. The site is hard to miss.
Upchurch said she’s been decorating this way for as long as she can remember. She said her father, Milton Trainer, used to decorate their home when she was a child and it’s something she’s kept up with.
“My dad died back in 1986 and I just kept doing it,” she said. Upchurch said it offers a sense of nostalgia and brings back memories of a simpler time for her. It’s also a tradition, one she’s passed down to her children and she hopes will be passed down to her grandchildren, as well.
She said her children decorate their homes the same way, however theirs are a little more low-key than Upchurch’s.
“I have a son that stays in Madison and he has lights on the house and does a good bit,” Upchurch said.
She said she’s kept up the family tradition because she loves to see the smiles on people’s faces when they see her home. It brings her a joy – one could say a Christmas joy — something that is needed at this time of year.
“We’ve been in this house for 28 years, so I guess 28 years,” she said. “It’s highly decorated. My husband always jokes that the airport wants me to cut the lights off so the planes can’t see me. I have it decorated on the inside, too.”
Upchurch’s home is eclectic. There’s no one set theme except one — the love and joy that Upchurch puts into her decorations. The spirit she wants to instill in not only her family but her neighbors and the many people who are able to come and visit her home is the joy of Christmas.
Upchurch said she loves to collect Santas, with one in her collection that she prizes from Nova Scotia. She said she’s collected so many that she has given some to her children.
“It’s a yearly tradition. I know I won’t be able to do it at some point. But, as long as I’m able, I’m going to keep on doing it,” she said.
Outside, she doesn’t use inflatables and she likes to change up decorations both inside and outside. Upchurch said she doesn’t have a theme, she just loves to decorate.
“I have lights on the trees, in the shed, on the house, on the pool house,” Upchurch said. “I just love it.”
She said she and her husband usually host a Christmas party so people can see the inside and outside of their home, but they weren’t able to do it this year because of COVID-19.
“I enjoy doing it. None of my kids are home, they’re all gone,” she said, “but I do it because I like to do it.”