LONG BOTTOM, Ohio — John and Brandi Codner Davidson moved back to Meigs County, Ohio two years ago from Marietta, Ohio, bringing with them an extensive collection of blow molds and a passion for Christmas decorating.
John said the overriding requirement in their search for a new home was finding a property conducive to the outdoor displays as well as having an ability to provide a good viewing environment for guests, and they found such a location on Riebel Road in the Chester/Long Bottom area.
John does all the outdoor decorations himself, saying that although he has offers of help, he prefers to do everything himself and so politely declines assistance. In speaking with him, it is apparent that John’s displays are works of art for him. He has a vision of what they should look like and sets about to bring his vision to fruition.
“Brandi does the inside decorating, and I do the outside,” he said. “Everyone wants to help me, but to be honest, I am rather particular in building my displays.”
He said he began decorating for Christmas when he was given a bag of icicle lights.
“I grew up in Meigs County and loved driving around looking at the lights in Pomeroy, Middleport, and across the river in Mason,” he explained. “My dad decorated outside and made a lot of his own decorations, so it seemed natural when I began decorating my house.”
His passion for blow molds started around 2007 when he began purchasing the molds he ran across. It expanded when he encountered a collector who agreed to sell a portion of his display.
Throughout the year, John works on repairing molds and building displays in his shop set up specifically for that purpose. He said some are brought to him that have a sentimental value to the giver — maybe they came from their parents or grandparents — and he displays them in their memory, often restoring them in their favorite color.
“The displays I had in Marietta didn’t have all of the components I have added in the past two years,” he said. “I decided to incorporate other types of decorations such as the moving displays to the mix. I’m always adding or changing something, so what you see one night might be different the next, you never know.”
The Davidsons welcome guests nightly through December with a personal greeting and a candy cane for each visitor. Cars can drive through, park in the parking lot, and walk along the driveway to view the displays. Visitors can tune to 87.9 to listen to Christmas music during their visit.
Last year, John said he handed out over 2,500 candy canes, and has received donations of candy canes to hand out.
“Candy canes just show up,” he said. “We do not accept monetary donations, so I suppose this must be someone’s way of giving back. I greet every car that drives in. This year I will be wearing a mask and doing a lot of hand washing due to the pandemic. We want to make sure everyone has a safe visit.”
The Davidson’s encourage checking their Facebook page: Davidson Family Christmas Light Show, before making the trip (47379 Riebel Road, Long Bottom) just in case the lights are off due to inclement weather.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.