By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - Driving by Barbara Taylor's house on Dunhill Drive in the daylight, it's obvious she has that Christmas spirit.
But nighttime is when the magic happens, both outside and inside her home. Taylor opens her home to visitors every night during the month of December.
"It's one thing to just ride and admire, but there is an intimacy when people actually come into your home and you actually meet them," Taylor says.
"Someone like that that would open up their home to complete strangers and trust the people to come through around this time of year is amazing to me and shows a lot about our community," Tori Morrison, who visited Taylor's home this week, says.
Taylor has been decorating the outside of her home since 1971, and the inside since 1994. She says she starts setting up the indoor decorations in September.
"Every year it gets larger and larger I spend more money and more money," Taylor says.
Taylor estimates she has thousands of moving parts, lights and characters and she says there is no limit to the spending. She has spent $3,000 this year alone on Christmas decorations.
"If you look around you would think that I would never have to buy anything as long as I live, but I've got news for you, that's not true," Taylor says.
To accommodate all her decorations, Taylor had Georgia Power install additional power outlets in her home three years ago. "We also have a generator and the light bill is astronomical, but it's all worth it," she says.
Taylor calls her Christmas wonderland a ministry, "I had a girl the other night who was on her way to have surgery for cancer and she just wanted to stop by here and we prayed together and cried together."
Taylor's home will be open to the public through the end of the month from 6 p.m. until about 10 p.m. Her one rule: if the lights are on, come on in.
The address is 3629 Dunhill Drive.
Last year, 2,500 visited Taylor's home. This year, about 550 have visited so far.
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