Our Town for the Holidays: Luana couple has home filled with Christmas memories

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 6:02 AM CST
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LUANA, Iowa (KCRG) - Over the summer, we adopt towns across Eastern Iowa as ‘Our Town.’ Now we’re continuing it over the holiday season.

We start off the series in Luana, home to Ed and Nancy Engelhardt. It’s a home that for the last 25 years has been bursting with holiday cheer. Different sections of their home are dedicated to various holiday décor – from a section of Santas to an array of angels.

Some are from decades ago from places that no longer exist, like a tree from Western Auto Store Nancy’s dad bought in the 1950s. Or another tree decorated with corsages woman used to wear in the 40s. They’re also a reminder of loved ones.

“Remembering, because a lot of things came from different people, so then you remember that person as you set that out,” said Nancy.

Ed and Nancy start their decorating the week before Thanksgiving. It takes them about two weeks to get the decorations all put up. The decorations fill up 30 totes.

“People today are more modern and downsize, and not so much stuff around. Where I like my stuff,” Nancy explained.

There’s around two dozen trees, some as tall as ten feet high. One tree, themed around Barbie, has more than a hundred ornaments.

“After I decorate one, I always think, if I were a normal person, I would be done by now,” joked Nancy.

The couple says their electric bill is around $100 more in December, but is worth every penny. The decorations are a road map of their lives. Through 62 years of marriage, Ed and Nancy spent 20 of those together as over the road truckers.

“We were home probably two to three days, and then we were gone two weeks,” the couple said.

They have a tree dedicated to trucking, complete with candlesticks made from semi-truck mufflers. The mechanics they worked with helped supply some decorations. While on the road, they’d always keep an eye out for the next Christmas keepsake.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun to see it though,” Ed said.

“Nothing fancy, just treasures,” Nancy said.

All to make a festive scene... that’s all about enjoying the moment.