Family’s Christmas tradition lives through the New Year

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Not ready for Christmas to be over? A pile of holiday magic can still be found in one Bismarck, ND, couple’s yard.

Tiffany Bailey, Basin Electric engineering document coordinator III, is the daughter of Alan and Kathy Chmielewski, the couple behind Chmielewski’s Christmas Corner, at 2228 Kennedy Ave. She says there’s still time to check out an amazing display of lights, decorations and life-sized figures of the Abominable Snowman, “Baby Bumble,” Charlie in the box, the Grinch and Hermey. A carousel was also added this year.

“From the moment we turn on the lights Thanksgiving Day, we have people parked outside the house,” Bailey says. “For many, this has turned into a yearly tradition.”

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The family’s tradition of outside decorations sparked in 2006 and it has grown each year. Alan and his sons put up the lights, Kathy incorporates a theme and sews the life-sized figures together, while Bailey and her younger sister are in charge of painting and other decorations.

“My family has always been a little bit into decorating. We used to decorate our old home for Halloween and I guess we just got inspired to try a different holiday,” she says.

Some memorable features from previous years include a Ferris wheel and ski lift that were placed in the family’s front yard.

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Such features caught the attention of the community. The decorations have been featured in videos by the Daily Dakotan, vocal dual Tigirlily, as well as various family photo albums around Bismarck.

“My family really enjoys seeing the joy the decorations bring to the people who visit,” Bailey says, adding there was a wedding proposal on the lawn last year. “You just can’t beat stuff like that.”

The family also takes donations and gives the proceeds to people who cannot afford electricity.

Bailey and her loved ones enjoy making all who visit their Christmas display feel part of a family.

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