VIENNA - Bobbie Jones has always had the Christmas spirit and it shines all around her.
Her Vienna residence inside and out looks like it was taken out of a Christmas home decor magazine with every nook and cranny filled to the brim with snowmen, Christmas trees, elves, candy canes and Santas. If visitors don't feel the Christmas joy, they will when they come out.
"I've always loved the holidays, and I love decorating for the fall, Halloween, Christmas. I have two daughters and when the girls were small, I wouldn't have as much out because we didn't have the money to do that. But as the years have gone by, I just collected it and my family comes and helps me drag it all out," she said. She starts, with the aid of her family including brothers who come up from Virginia, to decorate for Christmas around the first of December.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Bobbie Jones is shown with her Housecalls Hospice nurse Amy Jones.
Jones, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is on the Housecalls Hospice Program, always has a smile on her face and in her heart and it shows in her home.
"She has such a great outlook on life. She never complains," said Amy Jones (no relation), registered nurse with the hospice program. "I love coming to her home. I just think it's amazing, and Bobbie is such an inspiration, her joy for everything. She is a beautiful person." Bobbie has been on the Housecalls Hospice program a little over a year.
A Virginia native, Bobbie moved to Wood County about six years ago to be closer to her daughter. She has made it a mission to fill her home with the warmth and comfort of the holidays, and visitors would agree she has succeeded.
Bobbie is the eldest of 10 children.
"She and her brother lost their father in World War II and later gained eight half siblings with their mother's second marriage. Bobbie's commitment to living her life to the fullest in spite of her terminal diagnosis is so inspirational. She really embodies the true meaning of Christmas," said Christina A. Lerch, senior patient care representative at Housecalls Hospice.
"If I can just lift the spirits of one person, it's worth it," Bobbie said. "I usually start around the first of December. It's crazy in here when we first bring everything in and try to figure out where to put it. I haven't been able to actually get my car in the garage for years because that's where I store everything," she said.
As a child, because of their large family, they usually only had a Christmas tree up, and that was about it.
"We were born on my granddad's farm, and we were poor and didn't even know it. Mom and Dad tried to always have a Christmas tree, but that was about it," she said with a smile.
Daughter Amy Long, who lives close by, lends a hand in the decorating, and Amy's children, Ryan and Matthew, enjoy all the decorations. "My daughter's finance has two children I count as my grandchildren as well, Dee and Vinny," Bobbie said. Her other daughter, Elizabeth Jones ,lives in North Carolina.
After all the family efforts, 11 Christmas trees, sparkling lights, snowmen of every size, shape and style, a miniature Christmas village, mitten trees, her house is quite a Christmas showplace. Even her porch and laundry room have that holiday touch, with magnets on the front of her washer and on the refrigerator in her kitchen. With plants abounding including Christmas cactus of course, her porch is also decorated.
"I'm really a snowman person and I will leave those up until March because it's winter," she said. "I probably started with just the tree for the girls when they were younger and one thing has just led to another. It takes some doing to get it all up, but once I have it all up, I thoroughly enjoy it." She can recall when and where she collected many of her memorabilia.
"Some of my snowmen I have had for so long, and I don't have them all out because I ran out of room. They are so old you can't even find them anymore. Many of them my daughter gave to me for Christmas," Bobbie said. "I can't get out as much anymore, so I order a lot of things now."
A pride and joy of hers is a tree hanging on the wall of the hallway that is decorated with ornaments made by her grandchildren.
"I wanted to make sure it had a special place so everyone could see it," she said.