GLEN BURNIE, Md. — The spirit of Christmas has a beautiful way of bringing out the goodness in people.
A local couple knows all to well how the holidays can be taken to an extravagant level and it's all for a good cause.
Debra Lynn Smith and her husband Michael Smith put on an elaborate display of Christmas decorations inside and outside of their home in Glen Burnie. The couple took their love for Christmas and made it into a fundraiser to collect toys and donations for children battling cancer at the Johns Hopkins Children Center.
"We decided not to do Christmas for just ourselves and this is our way of giving back," said Debra. "So we take what we would have done for ourselves and we put it back in to the community."
So, the Smith's start decorating their home in September to have it up and running just in time for Christmas.
Michael Smith dresses up as Santa Claus while Debra dresses up as Mrs. Claus and members of the community can stop by their decorated home, donate a toy for their Toys for Tots fundraiser, and walk away with free pictures with Santa.
They even let visitors experience a grand tour of their 'Santa home' with warm cookies and hot chocolate. During the tour, kids can also drop a letter to Santa in their mailbox.
But, shhhhh it's a secret, Debra and her husband take the time to write back to their letters.
"Every year it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger we started off with a back drop hanging on a fence on our driveway with a fence with decorations and lights, now we have a whole set up and a sleigh and this year we even have an animated dear," said Debra.
The time and effort the couple puts towards their excitement for Christmas runs deep. The two were married on Christmas Eve by a Santa officiate, and Debra wore a Mrs. Claus dress as her wedding dress! She says that if it was up to her husband they would have Christmas decorations all year round.
You can stop by their home and experience the Christmas spirit yourself. They are open to visitors on Friday from 6 p.m to 9 p.m., Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information, click here. And don't forget to bring a toy donation!