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      Mullins family continues massive Christmas light tradition

      A family in Mullins is continuing a nearly forty year-old tradition of putting on one of the best Christmas light displays in the area.

      Mary Jane Matthews and her husband started their over-the-top decorating in Florence, quickly turning it into a family tradition. "I started and I didn't know when to stop! I just kept on lighting everything with lights," Matthews said.

      Her daughter, Kristi Stokley, remembers hanging lights as a child. "We would just spend hours putting up lights, we had some of the best talks just putting up the lights," she remembers.

      Now Mary Jane, Kristi and the next generation of Christmas light enthusiasts have picked up the tradition at their home in Mullins. "Its wonderful watching the children smile and I'm my momma's baby so I love to smile with Christmas too. Christmas is a magical time," Kristi said.

      The family started hanging the nearly 200,000 lights and placing hundreds of figurines around the yard at the end of September. Kristi's daughter Shayley said the best part of putting it all together was doing it as a family. "It was fun being with the family to help put this up and now that we've had all the hard work done it looks really good," she said.

      Mary Jane was used to thousands of visitors every holiday season in Florence, but now the display is a bit harder to find off the main road in Mullins. Still, touring the display has always been free, and the front entrance says it all, "Please tour our yard."

      The lights go on as soon as it gets dark and go off around 9 Monday-Thursday and stay on a bit later Friday-Sunday. The Stokley home is located off Wildlife Action Road in Mullins. Take Highway 76 East out of Mullins and then go right on Old Stage Road. Take a left onto Wildlife Action Road and you can't miss the lights.