Favorite Christmas Memories
Let's find out some favorite memories & stories of giving back from the Isaacson Family!
All About the Family
Quotes from daughter & owner of the WI Christmas Carnival of Lights, Bridget Bender
"One of my favorite memories as a kid was driving around to see Christmas lights. There were two houses beautifully decorated within a 20 minute drive of our house. We decided Santa must live at one house and his elves must live at the other. I can remember driving in front of one of the houses, just hoping to catch a glimpse of the big jolly guy."
"My favorite tradition with my kids is cutting down our tree together. Growing up, I only had a fake tree, so as soon as I was an adult, I was determined to have a real tree. Since having a family of my own, we now go and cut our tree down! It usually involves sticking a gloved hand through the sunroof of a car, but we always laugh and really enjoy this tradition. Nowadays, it's getting easier because our kids can walk themselves and our oldest son loves helping pull the tree. The years of carrying a baby while pulling a tree through the woods were a little challenging, but we still really enjoyed it and it's ingrained in our children. Now if only we were better at watering the tree!"
How Misfit Toys Joined WI Christmas Carnival of Lights
The props you see in our light show are all custom made. They are penciled on to high quality boards, carefully cutout, and painted. While setting up the props one year we noticed that somewhere in the process, a teddy bear had a missing paw! It either wasn’t drawn properly or it was accidentally cut off in the process. Nobody has owned up to who is to blame, or in this case praise, because this was the creation of our “Misfit Toys." We decided to dedicate an area of our “Santa's Workshop" display to toys that were perfectly imperfect. Sadly, our original misfit toy, the armless teddy bear, has seen better days and is no longer displayed in the light show. Each prop has a life cycle but we are always creating new ones!
You will, however, find a purple rocking horse with a broken rocker in the light show. Randy Isaacon's mother, Jeanne, always joked about how silly the purple horse was in The Wizard of Oz when they refer to "a horse of a different color."
When we paint props, we want them to be fun and colorful. In that moment a lightbulb popped on and Bridget thought painting a purple horse would be a really fun way to throw a little nod to her Grandma. A really cool part about our prop creations is that there is so much meaning built into every one of them within the campground.
'Tis the Reason for the Season
In 2020, we had two Mount Pleasant Police officers come out to inquire about doing a group sleigh ride for a local Cops/Kids group. They had mentioned that they had not been able to do much at all with these children in 2020 with the COVID restrictions. Bridget pulled her parents aside and asked if it was possible for us to do this for them. They immediately agreed. As this event grew closer, we decided we wanted to do more. We asked if we could buy a gift for each kid - something they requested. Our management staff headed out to the store with lists of names. What was so special about this was that each person was very invested in making sure each kid would get a gift that they would really love. The kids enjoyed a drive through the Christmas lights on our sleigh and then opened gifts. This was one of the most special things I've been a part of. "I loved being able to be a part of making a memorable Christmas for these children," Bridget said.
As a family-owned and -operated business, it can often mean sacrificing for our own families to provide something magical for other families. Most Christmas Eves we spend working so that other families can delight in making their own memories together. Anytime a guest comes and tells us how much they enjoy what we do, it truly is the best compliment. I once had a guest ask who set up the light show. I told him, everyone you see here working tonight had a hand in setting this up. He understood that most businesses have companies who set up props and he was in awe of what we had done. He reached across the counter, shook my hand, and thanked me and others for continuing to make this tradition available for the community. That for me, is as good as it gets.