BAINBRIDGE -- The winner of the 2012 "Home for the Holidays" decorating contest is a real traffic stopper again on U.S. 36, west of Bainbridge.
For the second straight year, the Paul and Tina Dixon home, 810 E. U.S. 36, has been declared the winner of the home and lawn decorating contest sponsored by the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce and the local Walmart store.
Tina Dixon says the handiwork is all that of husband Paul, who was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and has put his knowledge to use in fashioning a unique display again judged worthy of first prize and a $100 Walmart gift card.
The runners-up are also contest veterans, Chamber Executive Director Tammy Amor announced.
Second place and a $50 gift card goes to Justin and Brittany Eubank, 1025 S. Indiana St., Greencastle.
Third place and a $25 Walmart girt card was awarded to Marty, Chris and Shelby Williamson, 1294 W. CR 350 North (west of Brick Chapel). The Williamsons were also third a year ago and won back-to-back holiday home decorating titles in 2008 and 2009.
Honorable mentions named by Amor as worthy of a road trip to see their lights and displays include the residences of:
-- Tom Chilton, 4573 E. CR 325 South, Greencastle.
-- Clint and Tammy Farris, 1006 Crown St., Greencastle.
-- Bill and Janet Miles, 90 Cardinal Rd., Fillmore.
Tina Dixon says her husband almost didn't enter the contest this year.
"When he said that at the beginning of the season, he got a lot of flack from our friends, who said, 'What do you mean you're not going to enter?'"
The Dixons know, however, that friends and family and the community at large have expressed their appreciation for the holiday display.
"He does it because he loves it," she says of her husband who gets help from daughter Taylor, 13, as well. "People say they enjoy it all, and he appreciates the support.
"The man thinks about it 12 months out of the year," she added.
Dixon really didn't add too much to the display this year, focusing instead on updating the lights on the house and upgrading to LED lights as much as possible.
Some of the more unique aspects of this year's winning display are snowmen tossing a snowball back and forth, a gingerbread man jumping up and down on a trampoline and an elf unloading presents as they come down a conveyor belt.
On the adjacent property, Dixon has again utilized an old fishing boat as a prop with Mrs. Claus on water skis behind a boat pulled by reindeer. There is even a penguin sliding down an igloo.
"Except for the boat, the rest of it he has physically made from PVC pipe and all," Tina Dixon said, noting that her husband even incorporated an old artificial tree a friend was throwing out into a Christmas scene this year.
Dixon usually starts setting up his display the first week of November and needs about a month to get it all lined out and properly lighted and synchronized with his control panels.
"We want people to be careful," his wife stressed Friday. "At least twice while we've been out there people have pulled off the highway (U.S. 36) to get a better look at the lights. We want them to enjoy the lights, but please be careful."
Her husband has even had a semi driver slow down enough as he drove past to be able to holler out that he liked the Dixons' lights.
Despite all the lights, the Dixons' electric bill for November was about $20-$30 less than a year ago, possibly due to the LED items.
"Usually it runs about double for November and December," Tina Dixon admitted.
And even a $100 gift card won't help that.
"No," she laughed. "He saves that to use to buy more lights anyway."