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At Bill Poe’s house for Christmas, here comes Santa Claus (but keep your eyes on the road)

Bill Poe once (almost) made the holidays especially bright for somebody’s insurance agent.

That was when two cars, traveling in opposite directions on the road that runs past his Lazzelle Union home, both slowed to a Yuletide-crawl — and then almost nudged bumpers, as their drivers were craning to see the lights on his house and in his yard.

For Poe, who loves illuminating Christmas, it was more “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” than “Ho, ho, ho.”

“Yeah, that was a little close,” the retiree said.

“I’m glad they didn’t hit.”

Low-speed, near-miss aside, he is glad they liked his lights.

He started putting them up around seven years ago for the kids in his neighborhood. Poe and his wife, Laura, love seeing their faces light up — as they regard what he lit up.

“It’s for them and for the Lord’s birthday,” he said.

Every window, aglow.

Plus the roof.

And the trees and landscaping.

The deck and the fencing, too: complete with Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus, front and center.

“I basically get everything,” he said.

Ask him how many lights might be in that signature display and you’ll get a chortle just like Santa.

“No idea. I do know I had to cut back because my power box couldn’t handle it.”

It’s about Christmas magic and Christmas faith, as he’s wont to say.

“Amen to that.”

He knows all about the above and the birthday of a certain baby.

Poe, in fact, is looking forward to his 75th.

On Dec. 24. Christmas Eve.

“And I have a brother who was born on New Year’s Day. Kind of cut into the birthday presents when we were kids.”

His present every year, he said, are those lights that blink and twinkle good cheer into the evening during that season when people do eventually get to slow down — like those cars driving past his house.

It takes him around a month to get it all set up, but he’s methodical with the teardown and packing every year.

Santa, who knows a few things about running such operations, would be pleased, Poe said.

“A lot of people just throw the lights in a box,” he said.

“I make sure all the cords are wound up and everything’s put away right.”

Look for the lights at the Poe place to continue every Yule for the foreseeable future, the illuminating architect said.

“As long I can still get up on that ladder. Wish everybody a Merry Christmas for me.”

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