“The cargo trailer was stolen with all my decorations.”

CRESTVIEW – Mark Waggy was scrolling through his phone Wednesday morning when he stumbled across an article in the Crestview News Bulletin that caught his attention.


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The article was about a large silver reindeer that had made random appearances around a Crestview neighborhood after being seen initially with a pile of Christmas decorations abandoned on the side of the road. Dave Lyon and his daughter Calista, 7, eventually picked up the reindeer, built a raft for it and set it afloat in their neighborhood pond to make children smile.


For most readers, it was a light-hearted story about silly neighborhood fun amid the coronavirus outbreak and stay at home order.


For Waggy, it was a reminder of what he lost.


“I decorate my yard every year with Christmas decorations,” Waggy said. “I store them in a cargo trailer. The cargo trailer was stolen with all my decorations. When I’d seen the story, the guy said he saw a pile of discarded decorations along the road and the deer. I was thinking, ‘Those could’ve been my decorations.’”


The decorations Lyon found along Henderson Road were in poor condition, but he is willing to help Waggy in any way he can, he said.


“I can’t even imagine,” Lyon said. “My wife and I have been married for 32 years and we have decorations that go back through our time being together. There’s two ornaments that bring tears to our eyes when we put them on the tree, so I get it. I would be devastated.”


Waggy reported his cargo trailer stolen Jan. 12, after having seen it last around Dec. 20. Inside were LED lights, Christmas trees and reindeer – an estimated $4,000 worth of holiday decorations.


But they were more than decorations; they were memories.


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“It was very disheartening whenever I pulled up,” Waggy said. “Some of those things, they don’t even make anymore.”


Waggy has collected and made decorations for the past 30 years – since his children, now grown, were young. They are vintage, he said.


His holiday display has been featured in the Crestview News Bulletin many times.


“The neighbors call me, Mr. Griswold,” Waggy said. “My wife said I was more upset about the decorations than the trailer. It’s just sad. They just wanted the trailer; they didn’t want what’s inside.”


“Mr. Griswold” refers to the character Clark Griswold in the 1989 holiday film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”


Waggy wishes whoever stole his trailer had emptied it first and left what mattered behind.


While some of it can’t be replaced, Waggy can try.


“I love the holidays,” Waggy said. “My wife said, ‘Maybe you just don’t need to decorate anymore.’ I said, ‘I can’t do that. I can’t do that. I love to see kids come by. They walk through our yard. I have snow machines. I want kids to have a good experience of holidays. It just upset me a little bit, but it didn’t discourage me. It’s going to take me a while to get it back up again, but that’s all right. I’ll keep going.”