Trees, wreathes, Christmas villages, all kinds of Christmas decorations adorn houses across the country, but not many families have a wall of fame that showcases their Christmas spirit and their sense of humor.
Meet the Waters family: John Waters, Attorney at Law, Beth Waters, community volunteer, Spencer Waters, a jet pilot in the Marines, and Alexander Waters, newly-minted lawyer.
Serious professions, yes, but the family is quite the cast of characters. For 30 years, the Waters family has been pushing the envelope with their Christmas cards. It started with a spoof wedding invitation.
"We got married in the fall and right before Christmas we sent out our first Christmas card together and it looked like a wedding invitation with the double tissue and double envelope. It took off from there," said Beth Waters. "Every year we would pick out one major event that we wanted to remember and it's still true today."
"All of a sudden it became a tradition," said John Waters.
People they would write soon realized the Waters weren't right. They didn't always stick to the holiday at hand. Happy Halloween. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy National Backyard Campout Day? Nothing was off limits.
"In 1996 when we were saluting the Olympics, we all were dressed alike and had to have the big huge flag and big space. That was quite a production," said Beth.
And the family favorite is the Y2K card."We had a great time with the bomb shelter," said John.
The family has even been turned into a comic strip courtesy artist Charlie Daniel. These cards are elaborate like a newspaper, a Playbill, one even went airborne. Some years are busy like 2013 when Alexander graduated law school and started working at his dad's firm. Some years aren't busy. At all.
"We're all barefoot. We ain't done squat. I think it was refreshing. It caught people off guard," said Alexander Waters.
"And then sometimes we'll have an idea and it's just so bad we have to scratch it and start all over again like the Holiday Barbie. I was not a very cute Holiday Barbie," said Beth.
The family dog always makes cut. "I'm the animal control officer so we've had some interesting experiences trying to get the dog to act right," said John.
Topping last year's card is always the goal and sometimes that's not easy.
"We have to sit down, we have a family confab and think about it, come up with ideas, brainstorm," said John.
The Waters family definitely doesn't follow the letter of the law at Christmas time, but boy do they bring joy to their friends and family year after year.
"They say your house is on fire you could grab one thing. I'd grab my 30 Christmas cards," said Beth.
One of Your Stories. There's no place like this one.