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Monday, March 19, 2018

Kyle Vuille photo

Holiday decorating is a family affair

By Kyle Vuille

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Carmelo Ballaro and his family are spending their first Christmas in Glendive this year and the local tattoo artist went for the “go big or go home” approach when decorating the outside of their house.

Carmelo said he plans to make the display bigger and better every year.

“Growing up, Christmas was kind of boring,” Ballaro said. “My parents didn’t get into it, it was pretty basic with a little tree so I figured when I grow up I’d do it right.” 

Ballaro has done just that, being the most lit up and decorated house on Sunset Avenue in Hillcrest.

“I love spreading the Christmas spirit,” he said.

Ballaro said he and his family lived in the country last year and had more lights, but no one was around to enjoy the scene.

“We had lights, but no one really saw them,” Ballaro said.

However, this year the Ballaro family spent some time planning and setting up their decorations more strategically knowing they live in a community where folks could enjoy the festive scenery.

“It’s our first Christmas in our house here and it (decorations) will only get better every year,” Ballaro said.

Ballaro said he’s gotten a lot more into Christmas since starting a family. Decorating the house and yard this year was an event for the entire family. Ballaro and his wife, Mary, have three children: Abigail, Jamie and Arien.

“I get a lot more into it, I like to see them happy with it and they all pitch in and go outside in the cold and put up the lights,” Carmelo said.

The majority of outside decorating was done in one day.

“We did most of it on Thanksgiving Day while the bird cooked, but I add a little bit every day here and there,” Ballaro said.

Of all his decorations and lights, he said his personal favorite is the snowman that sits in his yard because he’s had the same one for years now.

And even as he sits back to enjoy his holiday display this year, he’s already planning how to make it bigger and better going forward.

He’s seen the houses in town that have music synced up to the radio and he wants to do the same in the coming years. Next year, he wants to do lights on his roof as well.

Carmelo, who owns a tattoo business in the Dion building, spreads the holiday cheer at his business with hanging decorations and lights in the second floor windows of the parlor.

“Christmas is about bringing families together and bringing communities together,” Ballaro said. “A little bit of Christmas spirit goes a long way as far as bringing people together.”

Reach Kyle Vuille at

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