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Family makes Christmas lights a holiday tradition

Steve and Linda Sydow spent a "light" weekend recently.

Monday, November 26, 2001

Steve and Linda Sydow spent a "light" weekend recently. Literally.

As they have done each Christmas season since 1993, the Sydows decorated their 35-year-old evergreen on Thomas Street with more than 1,000 Christmas lights.

Beginning Friday, Sydow, the city’s electrician, gathered the lights and rented a "JLG" (like a bucket truck but bigger). Using the JLG, Sydow and his son-in-law, John Thornburg, stringed lights to the top – 50 feet high.

It’s Linda’s Christmas present each year to have it lit, Sydow said.

And the tree, now like a neighborhood tradition, has had many fans since its beginning.

Lisa Ferguson-Grubb, daughter of Deb and Mary Ferguson, acquired the tree through the U.S. Forestry Conservation Poster Program in kindergarten at West Ironton School in 1966, the Sydows said.

It was a seedling, less than a pencil’s height tall. Deb and Lisa planted it, watered it, talked to it; and Spike, their dog, loved to lie under it as the Sydow’s dogs do now, they said.

Anyone can see the Christmas giant – just drive by the Sydows, 1720 Thomas St., Ironton.