PRATT — The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Pratt as lighted displays are popping up everywhere. The neighborhood corner of Fifth and High streets is particularly well-lit this year as the Shanline family on the southwest side and the McClures on the northwest side of the street have gone all out for similar, yet different reasons.
Zachary Shanline said he really began his Christmas outdoor decoration collection about four years ago. He said he and his family have always put Christmas lights up, which typically consist of the regular ones available at local stores. He also gets decorations and lights from people who no longer want them.
"I usually start saving money around October so we can make sure to have enough funds to cover any new ideas we might have,"he said. "I love Christmas and everything the holiday brings and a smile is the least I can give people as they drive by. If Christmas lights are what helps make people forget their troubles, then that is what I want to give them."
Just across the street, at home of Sandy and Mike McClure, another story of Christmas lighted decorations is unfolding, but it too is based in sharing the love, like the Shanlines.
Originally, the McClures just had a lighted sleigh and reindeer when they lived in Hugoton. But after discovering blowups a few years ago, they have been adding a new one every year. They originally started putting up lights for their grandchildren to have fun with over the holidays. Now they do it for their great-grandchildren. Sandy McClure said it has become a family tradition to see what grandma and grandpa have done each year.
This year, the lights hold a new meaning for the family, one of remembering and honoring a lost loved one.
"This year, they are up for our granddaughter who passed away in August," McClure said. "She always loved coming home to see the lights and we know she will still be able to see them from heaven."
Other residents on High Street also seem to have gotten in on the fun and a drive down the entire block is well worth the effort to see the lighted displays on both sides of the street.