Every year, year by year, there are more Christmas lights at the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford, and the annual Community Christmas night keeps getting bigger, too.
This year, owners Steve Foster and Tim Adams hosted vendors in the four dining rooms, which Foster thinks helped increase attendance.
That was good news for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who had a busy night collecting Christmas wishes from visiting children. The line to visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus snaked through all four dining rooms.
"It's a lot of work, but I just love doing it," Adams said. "I love doing all of it. I really don't know what else to say. I just love it. The kids love it. When you see the kids enjoying it, walking through it, that is really what makes it meaningful to me, that they have a place to see this because there is not really any place around here that does this any more."
The Christmas lights are Tim's thing, Steve said. Each year, Adams adds on and the light display gets bigger and bigger.
"We love Christmas," Foster said. "We love putting up the lights. We counted 3.5 million lights three years ago, but we stopped counting, so it's got to be well over four million at this point. Tim thinks he has a budget, but there's no budget. It's basically unlimited when it comes to Christmas."
When it comes to traffic, there's a lot of it, so the Stafford Volunteer Fire Department assists, and employees donate their time for Community Christmas night. The night is free for community members who visit unless they want to buy something from the vendors.
Adams said it takes him six weeks to get the Christmas light displays set up.
"I've always liked decorating for Christmas, so ever since we've purchased this place, I've kind of made it my goal to do a little something more every year," Adams said. "The best part about the whole thing is it doesn't cost anybody anything to come here and look at the lights."
Photos by Howard Owens.