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Isles looking a lot like Christmas
Now that the Golden Isles is getting cooler temps and children are counting down the calendar for the big day a week away, it's starting to feel like Christmas.

But for Ed Abel, who has six children, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Christmas begins at the start of November, when the first of the yuletide lawn decorations comes out of storage.

The 3037 Charing Cross home of Abel, who retired as the director of Glynn County Emergency Management Agency years after retiring from the Navy, is an annual attraction to Christmas lights seekers.

It's a tradition he carried from his residence on Hornet Drive in Country Woods in the 1990s to his new home in Nottinghill.

"It started years ago when my next door neighbor, and I looked around and said, 'You know, it's looking a little bleak around here,'" Abel said. "So we started doing something about it... and then we sort of went bananas."

His children loved it, his grandchildren loved it and now his great-grandchildren love the decorations.

It's why he keeps stringing thousands of lights in trees and shrubs year after year.

"It takes about three to five weeks to set up because you can't do it all at one time, and you really have to make sure you don't blow the circuit," Abel said. "I try to have it ready to light up by Thanksgiving."

That doesn't stop children and neighbors from asking him when the lights will be up. They are expected in November, he said.

"People stop all of the time, and the children get out, and I let them get close and look at them," Abel said. "You could say that's how we fulfill our desire, to see the kids having a good time."

The centerpiece, a 30-foot tree of lights, could be higher, he said, but it'll have to wait for next year.

"You could say we're saturated with decorations," Abel said.

For the Pegram Family on U.S. 82 in south Glynn, extreme Christmas decorations are a family affair.

"My husband and father-in-law have been putting up lots of lights and displays for probably the last 20 years," Amy Pegram said. "They do an amazing job and put a lot of work into it."

As next door neighbors, the two-yard exhibit has been known to wow motorists passing by.

The display is so big that it requires an October start.

"They usually start around Halloween and work on the weekends and week nights to set up," she said. "People are always waiting for us to light it up."

Pegram said her children love to run around in the yard with the lights turned on, one of the many reasons they put the lights up each year.

"It's worth a drive out to Highway 82 to take a look, but they won't be on until it gets dark," Pegram said.

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