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Animation in Motion
NICEVILLE - Sparkling lights, toy trains, nutcrackers and vintage dolls. They're all part of a giant indoor Christmas display called "Animation in Motion". The woman who puts it all together is known simply as "The Christmas Lady".
Inside the 22-thousand square foot display called "Animation in Motion, you can see all your favorites like this cute little Santa Claus...he just showed me his boxers!
There are plenty of reasons to smile inside this Christmas wonderland. Maybe that's why sixteen thousand people have visited since Thanksgiving.
Debbie Lewis/"The Christmas Lady" "It's all about the gift. It's all about the gift of love and the gift of share"
The display started in 1994, outside Debbie Lewis's Niceville Home. It grew so large she had to move it because of the traffic. Now Lewis and her husband are Christmas gypsies, searching for an empty commercial building every year.
Debbie "Mid to late September, now I'm sweating it because it's like, I really would like to have eight weeks to put this together"
This year she did it in six, inside the former Food World building in Niceville. Walking through the displays, you find out every one is from the heart.
Debbie "Elvis is one of my very favorites, one thing that Mama allowed us to do, not Dad but Mama, and so this year I thought you know, we've got the space, I want to have a little Elvis"
Lewis and her husband Charles Payne do most of the setup and teardown themselves. They say some people think they're a little crazy, but the rewards of their labor fill their hearts.
Debbie "When people come up to us at the counter, and they're heading out the door with their popcorn and their hot chocolate, and they say well God bless you, and I'll say you know we are, we truly already are"
"Animation in Motion" is free, though they do accept donations to help with the light bill.
Laura Hussey "Somewhat unfortunately for my family, this guy right here is my Christmas role model...mean Mr. Grinch! But Grinch and I are here to tell you, the Christmas Lady and Animation in Motion will soften you right up."