Tom Hoy in his yard of Christmas decorations in Norway. Hoy has put up his Christmas decorations to lifts people’s spirits during the pandemic. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Tom Hoy cranks up the volume on his blow-up singing Big Mouth Bill Bass decoration in his yard in Norway. The decorations are all internally lit and viewable all day and all night. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The small Elm Street neighborhood in Norway yields up a most unexpected surprise, a tiny blue house with a big yard stuffed full of holiday cheer. Christmas holiday cheer.

“I just want to put some smiles on people’s faces, especially the kids,” said Tom Hoy, the owner and chief decorator while explaining his motivation. “The parents are stressed, obviously. This brings it out that there is still joy in the world. There’s still love.”

Tom Hoy and his wife, Tammy Springer, are recent retirees who have found dealing with the pandemic emotional. “We’re depressed because we can’t go anywhere. And we like to travel,” Hoy said.

The two also provide care for Tammy’s parents, who live a half-hour north of them in Bryant Pond. Ron’s father, who has dementia, lives a half-hour away in Lewiston. “I go see him every three or four days,” said Hoy.

A detail of Tom Hoy’s Christmas decorations in Norway. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Realizing that COVID-19 was getting everyone down, Hoy decided to turn to what he knew best to help alleviate some of the local anxiety.

Hoy is an avid holiday decorator.

He has a patriotic theme that goes up on Memorial Day and gets added to as the weeks go by until it is in its full glory by the Fourth of July.

This year after the Fourth of July, he talked to his wife about putting up his Christmas display. “Let’s add a little bit of joy and putting smiles on people’s faces for this time,” he recalls.

She told him she supported him, but the project is all Hoy’s.

“I’ve been at this house for 15 years and I’ve decorated every single holiday,” said Hoy.

Christmas is where his displays really shine. Hoy decorates not just the front of his house, but the entire backyard, reaching to the next street.

Early on in his decorating project, Hoy targeted after-Christmas sales.

“I went to Lowe’s one time after Christmas and they wanted to get rid of everything. For 50 bucks I got like, seven trees and 20 wreaths.”

He has a focus on blow-up decorations, with over a dozen internally lit blow-ups surrounding his home. “I buy all these on sale. For 75 to 90% off.”

Hoy decorates for every major holiday: “You got Christmas, you got New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Memorial Day, Flag Day and Fourth of July. That stays up for over a month. Easter. Halloween is a good one.”

One of his oldest decorations is a large bear that is used for just about every holiday.  The bear comes with a heart, but Hoy adds a shamrock; a red, white and blue hat; or a big Easter egg depending on the season.

A detail of Tom Hoy’s Christmas decorations in Norway. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“He’s got the wreath now. I can’t find his hat, he usually has a Santa hat, but I can’t find it,” Hoy said. Which is unsurprising. Hoy says that the “nooks and crannies underneath the house” are filled with holiday decorations.

When people come to view his display, he does ask that people do their part to stay safe.

“I just wish everybody would get on board to wear masks wherever they go, wash your hands, use sanitizer, obviously no shaking hands or anything of that nature. Use your head a little bit to help out,” Hoy said.

“And let’s all get along, folks,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. Let’s just get along.”

The display can be viewed from both Elm and Radcliff streets in Norway.

 

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