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Decor keeps Christmas alive for military family

MartGallegos Saul VerChristmas Décor New Lenox install Christmas lights Janachowskis' roFriday Nov. 8 2013. | Frank Vaisvilas~For Sun-Times Media

Martin Gallegos and Saul Vera of Christmas Décor of New Lenox install Christmas lights on the Janachowskis' roof on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. | Frank Vaisvilas~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 11, 2013 6:43AM



PLAINFIELD — Tara Janachowski, 43, already had assumed that her Plainfield home would not be decorated for Christmas this season because her husband is serving in Afghanistan with the Navy.

“We would’ve forgone it this year just because he usually does the lights,” Tara said.

But on Friday morning, workers from Christmas Decor of New Lenox spent about three hours at the Janachowkis’ home decorating it for free.

“Obviously, Christmas should be a happy time,” said Gary Fouts, owner of Christmas Decor. “This could help bring joy to a family that’s going through a trying time. ... I wanted to give back to people who allowed us the freedom to do this. And seeing the look on someone’s face when (the decorations) light up, it’s hard to put a price on that.”

Tara’s husband, John Janachowski, 45, began his tour in July. He’s not scheduled to return until May.

Tara said her husband had been in the Navy in the past but re-enlisted after Sept. 11 and this is his first deployment since then.

She and their six daughters, ages 14 to 23, still are young enough to appreciate the joy of Christmas at their home. She’s thankful that Christmas Decor helped keep the holiday festive for them.

Tara said that while her husband had decorated the home every year, he wouldn’t go to some of the lengths that Christmas Decor did Friday, such as installing lights along the roof.

Christmas Decor workers also installed lights on two trees in front of the home, all the windows and along the walkway and put garland all along the house. They also installed a few wreaths.

Fouts’ business is part of a national chain that has installed Christmas decorations for hundreds of military families since 2003.

Fouts said this was the first free Christmas decorating for a military family for his business, but he hopes to do more in the future as word gets around about the program.

Tara said one of her husband’s friends in the Navy had nominated her family’s home. Christmas Decor accepts nominations on its Facebook page and a link can be found on its website at christmasdecor.net.



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