Keeping up cheer with decorations

Holidays tend to be a very busy time, and from November through March, it seems like one after another, which does not leave a lot of time to appreciate the beauty of the decorations of each holiday.

That isn’t true for Linda Lowmiller, Williamsport. Not this year.

Lowmiller’s stair railing is encircled with Christmas lights and a propped snowman silently greeting all those who enter.

Her Christmas tree remains in the living room, stripped of its normal seasonal decorations and replaced with hearts and red lights.

The decorations keep depression away that she had felt before, after removing them.

“I don’t like the winter months,” Lowmiller said. “I mind the cold. (The decorations) make things brighter.”

Lowmiller wants to keep her tree in its spot until Easter. She got the idea from someone else who did it, which inspired her to let it stay.

As the holidays change, so does its decorations. For Valentine’s Day, she displayed red hearts made by her grandchildren, each with a picture of them on it.

Her grandchildren’s creativity also is evident upon the fireplace, where she has hung paper snowflakes they created.

Even though the cold bothers her, she still can enjoy the snow with the snowman collection that decorates her house. Lowmiller has been building the collection for at least 25 years.

“Every year I add to it,” she said. ” You see different ones and you buy them.”

Her snowmen have remained frozen throughout her home until later this month, when she plans to put them away until winter returns.

Lowmiller could not give a specific reason why she started collecting the snowmen.

She used to build them as a child and then with the kids, she said.

Her collection includes snowmen of all shapes and sizes. She has a snowman doing the splits, a snowman lamp and a snowman that plays music.

Her favorite two snowmen have Mickey Mouse painted on their stomachs, part of the Jim Shore collection, which include figurines showing off different images. Lowmiller said she wants to add other Disney characters to her collection.

For every holiday, Lowmiller has decorations that she displays throughout her house.

“I have a lot of different knick-knacks,” she said. “I don’t get bored.”

Some of them she won at bingo, where the winners sometimes are given seasonal ornaments.

She won a poinsettia that lights up with different colors, which now sits on display. Beneath the flower rests a snowman wearing a Philadelphia Eagles shirt. A snowman with a Penn State shirt remains in her bedroom.

Joining the decorations and the snowmen are Lowmiller’s collection of angels.

To help cope with the death of her granddaughter, Jennifer Bubb, people have been giving Lowmiller angels for more than two years.

Some of the angels in her collection she found at yard sales.

Unlike her snowmen and other seasonal decorations, the angels are on display throughout the year, but she finds them especially appropriate for Easter.

“Angels and Jesus and Easter go together,” Lowmiller said.

Her whole family thinks of Jennifer as an angel.

“That’s how we remember Jennifer,” she said.