Bellevue homeowner welcomes community participation in holiday tradition

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) - Christmas, Santa, Lots of Lights; Something different everywhere you look.

“I’ve been doing Christmas lighting for as long as I can remember,” said George Cochran of Bellevue.

It may look like any other home this time of year, but for Cochrane, it’s a family tradition that’s been going on for more than 50 years.

“My dad was always partying, and he’d make us Christmas trees as kids,” said Cochrane.

Years ago, his father made this tree for the family, handcrafted and will remain a Cochrane symbol forever.

“My dad made that tree when I was a kid and I’ve kept it ever since,” Cochrane said. “And just to have Dad with me, it’s always nice to have you.”

Over the years, new decor has been added to the patio.

“When I was a kid, we used to go out and look at the lights. But I never got a chance to go out and take pictures,” said Cochrane.

In 2021, “Santa’s Seat” becomes the new feature. For the second year, this bench has returned to allow families to sit and take a picture.

“My son and I will usually be here on weekend nights, handing out sticks to the kids when they pass by,” Cochran said.

They even created a Facebook page to share the photos. Cochran said his neighbors love him, too.

“People will come and sit on the bench and take pictures of their pets and the kids and the whole family. They love sitting there and people-watching too,” Cochran said.

Decoration doesn’t just come for Christmas. Also appears on Halloween and the Fourth of July through Easter.

“We decorate the yard all year long. Christmas is where we have more lights. But every holiday we decorate,” Cochrane said.

And for Cochrane, “Family is everything. So what I can do to let families come and share and make their own time, is always a wonderful thing to share,” he said.

It’s more than decorating for the season, it’s about making memories.

Cochran said all decorations will be finished during the first of the year at the latest. The home is located off South 50th Street and Trail Creek Avenue.

If you take a photo, be sure to share it with “Santa Bench” on Facebook.

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