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The Christmas Spirit is back in Hudson

Dorothy Jensen holds a quilt made by one of her children. Christmas is a more than just a single day in the Jensen household. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl1 / 2
Dorothy and Ron's grandchildren each have a stocking hung on the mantle. Photo by Margaret Ontl2 / 2

In this business there are some people you never forget. Twenty years ago reporter Peggy Hale and I went to visit a Hudson resident who loved Christmas. Peggy wrote a story and I took some photos of the elaborate display at the home of Dorothy and Ron Jensen. The couple married over 50 years, love Christmas. After Ron retired in 1991 they decided to move from their Fifth Street Hudson home to Clayton in 1993. Since then, they have traveled a lot, visiting two daughters, one in California, another in Alaska and many parts of the America in between, staying away from northern winters. They had a few bumps in the road along the way, Ron having survived cancer. However, two and half years ago, they decided it was time to stop traveling and move back to Hudson.

This presented a bit of a dilemma. Dorothy had parceled out her favorite Christmas items to her family and sold much of the rest of her collection.

With a brand new twin home, it didn't take long for Dorothy along with family and friends who know about her passion for Christmas to amass a large collection of Christmas decorations. Some old favorites, like the latch hook rugs made by Ron and their children's original stockings were still part of the family.

Messages of peace, love and joy are spelled out everywhere from the candy dishes on the coffee table to wall hangings. One of her newest items is a set of 3D glasses she received from her daughter in Alaska. When you put them on they change the lights on the Christmas tree to one of four images: a star, a Santa face, a snowman or a snowflake.

Dorothy Jensen can't really explain her love of Christmas other than to say she has always been this way.

"I just love it," said Dorothy, who is a Ricci from North Hudson. "I get up at 5:30 a.m. to light the outdoor display for neighbors to see on their way to work. I hope it brightens up their day. Then I put it back on at night so is greets them as they come home."

All of Ron and Dorothy's five children, who are ages 45 to 53, were brought up with the passion for Christmas and family.

"You haven't seen anything yet," said Ron, as Dorothy starts to take this reporter to the lower level of their home. Ron likes Christmas almost a much as Dorothy, helping with the decorating and creating the latch hook rugs. He also loves to create jigsaw puzzles.

"He also moves things around when I am gone," said Dorothy. "It is fun to see what he has changed."

"I always look forward to waking up in the morning," said Dorothy. "I learn something new every day, I just keep getting smarter and smarter."

When Dorothy gets up early each day it is not only to turn on the Christmas lights for commuters; she may also be making Italian donuts at 4:30 a.m. or any number of Italian holiday treats including dozens and dozens of pizzelles, a flat Italian cookie, popular during the Christmas season.

"I have all the holidays covered," said Dorothy, who decorates for Easter and Halloween as well as Fourth of July. "It isn't only Christmas."