Spreading holiday cheer at the Christmas Corner
Located at 2101 East Third Street in Superior is the Christmas Corner, a hard-to-miss light display put on by Amanda and Brett DaFoe.
“When I was a kid, one of the things we did is we drove around, looked at Christmas lights, and there’s always that one house or maybe two houses that you had to go see every year,” said Brett. “And I had told my wife I was like, ‘I want our house to be that house’.”
According to Brett, it takes around a month to put up the 25-30,000 lights. For the DaFoes, seeing the reactions of kids in the community makes the effort worthwhile.
“We had a family where the grandmother bought headlamps for all the kids and they were walking from just down the road down here and they didn’t know where they were walking to. They were just walking and they turned the corner and a little boy, the youngest, saw all the Christmas lights and he’s like, ‘we’re walking to the North Pole!’, said Amanda. “And so that story was shared with us. That simple memory made with that family just makes us feel so good.”
Both Amanda and Brett learned the true meaning of the holiday season from their parents.
“Not so much the gimme, gimme, gimme kind of thing, but the spirit of giving,” Amanda explained. “One of the things that we always watched was the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas and was my dad’s favorite and just the whole that it doesn’t come from a store. It means a little bit more kind of thing. Giving back and things like that is what we have always done and what they taught us to do.”
“My folks, they did make it a good Christmas for us. But we got stuff from the Salvation Army and stuff like that,” said Brett. “You know, we had five kids of our own. It was a tough time for us. People helped us help them. So it just feels good to give back and, you know, help people that aren’t even always less unfortunate but everybody that comes through.”
The DaFoes have added more and more lights to the free, walk-through display over the years, as well as other features.
“About ten years ago, we started doing the cookies and hot chocolate where we were just if people could walk through the display and we would get free cookies and hot cocoa to them, which was nice on cold nights. They really enjoyed that,” said Amanda. “Then we decided the following year to do Letters to Santa Claus. And if a child dropped off a letter to Santa and used their return address, Santa wrote them back.”
One particular letter to Santa the first year stood out.
“We got a letter from a little boy who all he asked for was a winter coat for his dad for Christmas, and that really touched Santa’s heart. And Santa wanted to do something for the kids in the community,” said Amanda. “We decided that every year when we would do Santa Claus weekends, where Santa would be here on Saturday and Sunday, and kids could stop by and they could drop off their letters and they could tell him what they want for Christmas. And then they also get a toy, regardless of age.”
The toys are mostly for kids 10 and under, but there are gifts for older children. Each toy is something small, usually from the dollar store.
“It’s not much, but we know that every child is going to have at least one present type of thing for Christmas,” said Amanda.
There are also donations provided by members of the community, helping spread the holiday joy.
“Our community is incredible with even some of the people who come with their children or grandchildren have donated gifts, whether it’s toys or wrapping paper stamps, because Santa has to write all of those letters. So on stationery and stamps, they’ve donated the time, cookies, and hot chocolate,” said Amanda. “We’ve really honestly could not do all that we do without the help of the community and the donations from everyone else.”
Santa Claus will be at the Christmas Corner on December 9, 10, 16, and 17 from 5 pm to 8 pm. He is more than happy to greet all of the kids and take photos with them.
“I heard the DeFoes needed some help, so I stopped by and we’ve just been swarmed almost every night. So lots of smiles and lots of good kids out there,” said Santa.
If you would like to donate to the Christmas Corner, you can drop off dollar store type toys, wrapping paper, stamps, tape, and similar items at the house or message the Christmas Corner Facebook page to coordinate a time for the DaFoes to pick up the donation.