Many people are familiar with the concept of open house celebrations among family and friends, particularly during the festive holiday season. One local family has taken the concept one step further, hosting a holiday event in their home that is fun for all ages, and all are invited to attend.
Red Bank resident Jimmy Glynn explained, “Each year since they were toddlers, my sons, James, 17 years old, and Matthew, 14 years old, create a Christmas miniature village. This village is comprised of Dept. 56/Lemax buildings and accessories that our family has collected for the past 20 years. When Superstorm Sandy struck the Jersey Shore in October 2012, James and Matthew decided to transform our garage into a ‘Jersey Shore Christmas.’ They had a vision to bring the community together and enter an enchanted world only held back by the imagination. They sent out flyers to friends, family, and neighbors, inviting everyone to see their village. A crowd of 200 people attended and were very impressed with their display! Christmas music was played, and hot chocolate and desserts were served to all. Using clues, the boys created a village Eye Spy game for the children; however, adults would soon be driven to solving the clues. James and Matthew also collected donations from those who visited for the charitable organization Middletown Helps its Own. Since the event was such a great success, they held additional ‘Jersey Shore Christmas’ displays in 2013, 2014, and again in 2015 (drawing close to 300 people), and raised money for a charity that is very dear to them, the Wounded Warrior Project.”
Mr. Glynn said that this year’s “Jersey Shore Christmas” is being held in their garage on Saturday, December 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at 28 Sugar Maple Drive, Red Bank. Being such large supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project, James and Matthew have decided to again raise funds for this worthy cause. In the past, they mailed invitations to their soccer teams, classmates, family members, friends, and neighbors – and the community at large is invited, as well.
The boys start the display, which measures 15 feet by 20 feet overall, approximately two weeks before Thanksgiving and it usually takes them until the second weekend in December before it is completed. There are approximately 100 buildings in the collection, but they do not use every building each year. There are also hundreds of small figures and a countless number of trees and shrubs. Every year’s display is different.
“They have both put so much time, hard work, and love into this year’s display,” said Mr. Glynn, “and we are hoping for a large group of visitors throughout the community. What a fabulous way to get into the Christmas spirit!”