Nestled in the heart of Chappells lies a hidden gem for the holidays, a Christmas display so grand it could melt even the Grinch's heart! With over 150,000 lights, numerous floats, and woodwork, Country Christmas is like walking through a winter wonderland.
Husband and Wife, John and Susan Bennett, began their Country Christmas walking display nearly 15 years ago in their backyard and they never expected it to grow like it has. Before it was Country Christmas, it was simply an 8 foot tall snowman their daughter, Amber, begged to have in the front yard. Year after year, their display expanded and soon enough passersby were stopping to ask for pictures.
Nearly 4 years in the couple received a huge donation, which gave them the help they needed to make the display all they wanted it to be - a place where people could enjoy Christmas without paying a dime. However, they weren't finished their. Country Christmas now includes free hot chocolate and treats, a Christmas train set, and even visits from Santa Claus on some fridays throughout the month!
The years have worn on the couple and, due to medical issues, the couple has often thought about calling it quits, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards. John said, "Just like last year, this little girl came up to us and said 'I love y'all, thank you' so we continue year after year."
Stories like this are prominent at Country Christmas and are what keep the couple serving others. Most touching is a story from years ago that John tells like it was yesterday. A little girl and her father visited Country Christmas and entered the building where the free goodies and train set are every season. Upon entering, the little girl exclaimed, "Daddy... Look at the train." The father sat down and began to cry, making John wonder if he had said or done something wrong. The dad and his little girl got their treats, walked through the display, and went on their way. Not soon after, a woman came up to John and said, "John, the Lord is truly in Country Christmas" to which he responded, "I sure hope so."
What she said next was nothing for which you could prepare; "You don't understand, that little girl is 12 years old and those were the first words she's ever said." Overwhelmed with emotion, he reflects, "Then, it was my time to cry. I think it's a great thing we're doing here."
Country Christmas' motto is "Love One Another" and they seem to live by it, not only in the holiday season, but year round. Visit them from now until Christmas from 6pm-9pm. The experience is completely free, but donations are appreciated (though clearly not required). Their address is 434 Fairfax Rd. in Chappells, South Carolina. They can be reached at 864-554-8299 or on their facebook page "Country Christmas 2019" which will be linked below.