Palestine resident Cheryl McCoy is sharing the joy of Christmas with the kids and kids at heart who live at Inwood Place Apartments by placing festive homemade decorations in her small front yard.

“I decided to do it right before Thanksgiving,” she said about her hand-made decorations. “I just wanted to do something for the kids — something pretty and whimsical and that shows what Christmas is all about.”

Recalling her childhood days looking at Christmas lights and decorations with her mother, McCoy and her 11-year-old daughter, Leache, worked on the decorations together.

“I just gathered some old boxes or Styrofoam, drew the pictures, cut them out and painted them,” she said. “(My daughter) also helped me paint them and put them up.

“It took us two weeks,” she added. “But we had a lot of fun doing it.”

The display includes two scenes that show both sides of the Christmas story — one includes elves, trains and candy canes while a nativity scene makes up the second display.

“I just wanted to put some joy in people’s hearts” she said. “It brings me so much joy to do it — sometimes I surprise myself with the things I come up with.”

McCoy has been painting for about 10 years, doing projects for herself and giving others away to friends and loved ones. She prefers to paint on ceramics, glass and mirrors.

“Once a friend asked me to paint a scene on a poster board,” she said. “I did it for her joyfully.

“It is just something I like to do.”

A native of Wharton, McCoy grew up in Jacksonville and moved to Palestine in 1982, where she worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and did interior decorating on the side.

After being diagnosed with Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis and degenerative arthritis several years ago McCoy is on permanent disability and is no longer able to work. She has lived at Inwood Place Apartments for five years.

She counts it all a joy, though, being able to home school her daughter and making time to work on her craft projects. Each year she also paints Christmas ornaments for members of her family.

“I hope everyone has a happy holiday and remembers the true meaning of Christmas — love,” McCoy said. “I always get emotional at Christmas, and I am always sure to tell kids what Christmas is all about.”

Recommended for you