Jacob Riddle of Waterboro has a chat with Santa Saturday during the Riddle family’s Christmas open house. The family invited folks from Waterboro and beyond to stop by their home on Old Alfred Road over the weekend to see Santa, meet Mrs. Claus, Frosty, the Christmas Mouse and other holiday characters. //TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Jacob Riddle of Waterboro has a chat with Santa Saturday during the Riddle family’s Christmas open house. The family invited folks from Waterboro and beyond to stop by their home on Old Alfred Road over the weekend to see Santa, meet Mrs. Claus, Frosty, the Christmas Mouse and other holiday characters. //TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

WATERBORO — As the Christmas spirit makes its way through York County and across Maine, folks are stepping up to make the holiday season merry and bright — not only for their own families, but for others as well.

Whether they’re decorating with brightly colored lights to cheer the nighttime, plunking a toy in a Toys for Tots bin or contributing to the joy of Christmas in other ways, ‘tis the season.

Among those making merry this year is a local family. Their joy comes from horns tooting as motorists drive by to smiles on children’s faces as they spy that Jolly Old Elf in the red suit hanging out with Frosty, the Christmas Mouse and some other familiar holiday characters at their home on Old Alfred Road.

Those who drive by the home of Ericka and Edwin Riddle on almost every holiday on the calendar see the lawn decorated with the signs of the season – on Halloween, there’s even a “haunted house” theme, one of their daughters said.

On Christmas, the lawn is filled with inflated characters that relate to the season.

This year, there was more.

Their extended family — adult children and their grandchildren — got together in full costume to brighten the holidays over the weekend, The family members donned costumes and prepared to greet families from near and far — folks they knew and those they didn’t — as a way to bring smiles and memories to others.

“Mom raised us to give back and to never take for granted what we have,” said Josie Roberts in her red Mrs. Claus attire.

So she and her daughter Kaitlyn, her brother Eddie, sister Cindy and brother-in-law Chad Pinkham and their daughter Corinne and son Patrick, along with sister Eraina and her son Jacob set about to spread Christmas joy.

Her parents, Ericka and Edwin Riddle, had done much the same several years ago. This year, said Josie, she and her siblings decided to do so again. “Santa” was there too — with the okay from the busy big fellow himself, she said.

“For those who wonder, we got permission from Santa to share the joy,” she said with a smile.

And so “Santa” — as portrayed by her brother-in-law Chad Pinkham, dispensed some “ho, ho, hos.”

There were coloring books and crayons at the ready for youngsters who stopped by, and Santa was available to pose with kids for families who brought their cameras along.

On Saturday, horns tooted as families drove by. Later in the afternoon, families stopped in. Children got their coloring books and crayons and were invited to choose an ornament from the tree. One young fellow stopped by a second time — to deliver a page he’d colored from the book he’d received earlier in the day.

For his part, Santa said his workload was not as grueling this year as it has been in other years — and so his workshop was ahead of schedule.

”I don’t have to check the list twice, so many boys and girls have been good,” he said.

Ericka Riddle reflected on the day.

“I’m so happy the kids decided to do this,” she said of her children and grandchildren’s efforts. “Its a lot of work. But there’s so much love around at Christmas time. Its a great feeling.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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