LEWISTON — At the Meadowview Park Senior Living Community, the folks who live on the Circle 4 turnaround are considered the rebels.

So what do you do for Christmas if you’re a rebel in a senior living complex?

You go big, that’s what.

“I have lived here for 20 years and have seen many houses decorated for Christmas,” said 84-year-old Bert Dutil. “Never seen anything like this.”

The lights, ornaments and inflatable Christmas characters started going up two months ago on Circle 4. One thing led to another, and now each building is strung with lights, the grassy center of the circle is likewise festooned, and an inflatable Santa stares across the yard at a likewise towering Frosty the Snowman.

“Sometimes I turn the lights off inside and just look out at all of this,” said 87-year-old Edith Cox.

There’s a lot to look at. Christmas trees blink with a multitude of colored lights. Ornaments dangle from a tree at the center of the circle, which is covered in lights powered by solar energy. There is even soft holiday music playing from a tiny speaker that dangles from a window.

“We just wanted to make everybody happy,” said 67-year-old Jerry Bilodeau, the Meadowview resident who did the bulk of the work, stringing lights in virtually every spare corner of the yard.

“I was the helper,” said Dorothy Robinson, 74. “I passed him rolls of tape and that kind of thing. People are really enjoying it.”

When her husband was around, he was never much for decorating for Christmas, Robinson said. She always kind of missed it.

Now that she’s living among like minds at Meadowview, she was more than happy to go all in.

“We’re going a little crazy,” she said. “I love the snowman. He’s all mine. I never had a blow-up snowman, you know.”

According to Cox, the effect of the lights on the Meadoview community is obvious. Where there was no holiday cheer before, there is now an abundance of it. Every night, the lights go on and the men and women of Circle 4 wander away from their card games and other activities to look at them.

“You can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit,” Cox said.

Not that anyone should get the idea that Christmas is the only source of festivity here. The residents of Circle 4 at Meadowview are close, like a family. They celebrate everything together.

“We might be seniors,” said 73-year-old Louise Barrett, “but we’re not dead.”

On Halloween, the seniors decorated liberally before donning their costumes and cavorting about.

“We went a little overboard,” Robinson said.

As they have at a few card games.

“We’ve had some that got a little wild,” said Louise’s husband, Roland.

They have dances out in the parking lot. They celebrate birthdays. Sometimes they get a little louder than one would expect from a group of people at an elderly housing complex.

“We’re considered the rebel circle,” Barrett said.

The rebels do put up a heck of a good Christmas display, it is generally agreed. And to hear the people of Circle 4 tell it, this is only the beginning.

“Next year,” Robinson said, “we’ll make it even bigger.”


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