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Winning Calexico home a blend of religious, patriotic elements

December 26, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer
  • The home of Jerry Burch and his family at 2101 Banda Ave. displays the unique collection of Christmas decorations that won top honors from the Calexico Recreation Department during the annual home decorating contest. CUAUHTEMOC BELTRAN PHOTO

CALEXICO — For the past few weeks, the plastic Joseph in Jerry Burch's yard has looked somberly at his sandal-clad feet.

The plastic Mary nearby has gazed lovingly at an empty manger.

This morning, Burch will bring out the plastic Baby Jesus to complete his frontyard Nativity scene.

He hadn't put Baby Jesus out earlier because his wife told him, "He's not supposed to be out yet."

Over the weekend, Burch's frontyard display at his Banda Avenue home was honored by the Calexico Recreation Department as the most unique collection of Christmas decorations in town.

His front yard full of Christmas cheer includes the now complete nativity scene, an 8-foot-high Grinch, Santa Claus, twinkling reindeer and three smiling snowmen.

Burch said people slow down and check out the house when they're driving by. Others have even walked into his front yard and taken pictures of their kids amid the Christmas light glow.


"Some people say it's like Disneyland," Burch said.

The other winners of the annual Recreation Department Christmas decoration contest were Cruz Pacheco of C.N. Perry Road for religious display and the Salcedo family of Bielma Street for lighting.

Burch's winning yard features lighting, religious and even patriotic elements.

He used a "different ladder" to get lights on the highest parts of his roof, set up two smaller nativity scenes in addition to his plastic holy family and flies a U.S. flag over his garage to bring in the patriotism.

This is the first Burch family Christmas here in Calexico.

The retiree moved his family down from El Cajon earlier this year and brought a huge collection of Christmas decorations.

Burch said it took him more than a week to set up this year's display.

"We do it for the kids," he said.

A few weeks ago the kids were saddened after a bandit made off with one of Burch's snowmen.

"It was just ripped out," he said.

Burch's 9-year-old daughter took it hard.

"That upset her," he said.

After Burch replaced the snowman, vandals tried to swipe the twinkling angel hanging on his fence.

They weren't able to take it, though. The extension cord caught onto something and wouldn't give, Burch said.

To hinder area Scrooges, Burch has secured his decorations with plastic ties.

"That was one of the first things I learned," he said.

Despite the extra care he has had to take this year and the mean-spirited actions of others, Burch's Christmas spirit hasn't been dampened.

He said he'll be out next year on the day after Thanksgiving, unballing his lights and dusting off Santa.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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