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Local couple hosting Christmas celebration

Though local residents Michael and Toni Ferris’ children are grown, they still wanted their own Christmas spirit to be shown.

Thus, beginning tonight from 5 until 8, they are inviting the entire community to their home, so try not to be late.

The address is 3651 Seneca Avenue and those who visit will certainly enjoy the view.

In front of their yard one will easily see, all kinds of Christmas decorations including the tree.

This display will be exciting, and full of delight, just prior to Santa’s annual Christmas flight.

There will be no charges, expenses or fees, as the event to the public is totally free, so says Toni Ferris.

“We just wanted to give back to the community and let everyone know it’s a bad year, but people still care,” she said. “If you can make one child smile, it’s worth it. Santa’s going to be here and we will have a snow machine, and a Santa mailbox. There will be blow-ups all over the yard and lots of lights and Christmas music. Kids can visit with Santa Claus, and their parents can bring their phones and cameras to take pictures. Everything is free.”

Snow in the forecast

Along with the aforementioned holiday amenities, Ferris also said weather conditions at her home will mirror those at the North Pole.

“We also purchased a snow machine that makes real snow but it’s not slippery, so the kids won’t slip on it,” she noted. “We also bought a sleigh in Las Vegas from a business called Santa’s Wrap, and they actually gave us a discount, so we bought it. It’s an actual authentic Christmas sleigh made by the Amish people in Pennsylvania, and it’s the first one they made. It’s totally handmade.”

Bearing gifts

Ferris also noted that many of the kids who visit their winter wonderland will not leave empty-handed.

“The first 1,500 children will receive gifts and we have three different age groups that my husband and I went out and took care of,” she said. “Everything we are providing is individually wrapped, and one of our nieces crocheted some homemade hats for kids too. It took quite some time to wrap the gifts and my daughter’s fingers are pretty sore. I also bought 600 candy canes, so when the presents are gone, there will be candy canes from Santa. We don’t plan on giving all of the gifts out on the 18th, because it’s only a three-hour window, so we figure maybe 10 or 15 minutes per family, because we are going to do social distancing, and we need time to wipe down the sleigh between each family.”

True altruistic gesture

Michael Ferris, meanwhile, noted that he and his wife simply wanted to host the event for the community.

“Our grandkids and great-grandkids are all taken care of for Christmas and this event was for the community,” he said. “We just wanted to do something for the kids that may not get very much, and I just wanted to make sure that children in this community get something, and know that somebody cares. This is a private thing and it’s not sponsored by anyone. I don’t want it sponsored by anybody or anything. We don’t want recognition for it because we just want people to know that we care. I’m all about kids and I’m all about family, and this might make Christmas a little bit better and brighter for the holidays for some of the families here in town.”

Taking precautions

Toni Ferris, meanwhile, said she and her husband actually had to scale back the first-time event due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We wanted to do a lot more this year, however with the pandemic we felt that handing out hot chocolate and stuff like that would be not good, so we did not want to take a chance,” she said. “Next year we are hoping to have a hot chocolate booth and other stuff, if COVID-19 is gone. If they don’t have masks, we will provide them because they have to wear a mask. We encourage anybody and everybody to come visit Santa Claus, even the older people. I get a kick out of the lights and everything, which gives me a sense of peace, because this is the time of year. We are hoping to have some local volunteers from the churches come out and sing carol songs. If not, Alexa will play music on a loop.”

Sheriff’s blessings

Tonight’s event, the Ferrises said, will run through Christmas Eve.

“We spoke to the sheriff and she said it would be a great thing,” Toni Ferris said. “We told her we would love to have her come over and we would love to have the deputies come over and bring their kids if they want to take a family picture. We want the community to come together in times like this, because we all need to work together. If one person pays it forward, it makes it all the better. We love Pahrump.”

It should also be noted that the Ferrises actually adopted a local family for Christmas this year.

That family has a 6 year-old boy who is on kidney dialysis.

“We are doing this because we love our community,” Ferris said. “We have 44 grandkids, and so my husband said, ‘let’s do it for the community, and let’s go all out.’ This is the first year we have done this and we hope to make it an annual event. We have a lot of people volunteering to help us. My 10-year-old granddaughter and a couple of her friends are going to be elves. The priest from my church and his wife are also going to help.”

3651 Seneca Avenue runs between East Elderberry Street and Falcon Street.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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