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Christmas display honors woman's late father known as the 'King of Christmas'

Posted at 11:25 PM, Dec 17, 2019

FREMONT, Mich. — A woman in Fremont is honoring her late father by showcasing her father's Christmas display, which he built.

Terri Balder says her father wasn't always the 'Christmas King.' He originally was a Scrooge.

"He didn't get a lot for Christmas, which is part of why he had such a sour taste in his mouth," said Balder.

Decades ago though, her father had a heart attack. The near-death experience changed him.

"He became the Christmas King," said Balder. He wanted to give back to the community in a way that he would personalize it himself. He did it by building Christmas displays."

After a stroke about 20 years ago, the decorations sat in Balder's pole barn. With her mother's passing two months ago, Balder felt it was the right time for the display to come to life once again. It includes a train, elves, a sleigh, and many other handmade decorations.

"This is my way of grieving," said Balder. "This is it. I think this my calling now to take over after my father."

Santa will be at the display from Friday through Monday. They will also be handing out cookies and other treats. There will also be a donation jar for anyone who wants to donate to TrueNorth Community Services, which will provide toys for children in need this Christmas. The event is located at 7250 W Lake Drive, Fremont.