Christmas traditions: The Sessamen family shares their unique Christmas display

Visitors to the Sessamen home are greeted with warm smiles. Jesse and Margaret Sessamen of Tyrone really enjoy decorating their home for the Christmas season. Jesse has even made a hobby out of it. He uses his many talents to create a variety of Christmas ornaments and decorations which are displayed in the Sessamen home. Others are passed on to their children and grandchildren, as well as other family and friends.
The couple is happy to share their Christmas traditions, beginning with the unique Christmas tree on display in the living room. The real tree is not an evergreen as one might expect. Instead, Jesse has worked in his garage, covering the branches with cotton, creating a beautiful snow effect. The tree is adorned with a variety of Christmas ornaments and beads which are over 100-years-old.
Jesse’s talents don’t stop there. Looking beneath the tree, one will see a familiar Christmas village. But this town didn’t come from a box and nobody else has one like it. Jesse has hand-crafted his very own neighborhood, including his own home, neighbors’ homes, Pizza Hut, Christ United Methodist Church and many other area buildings and homes.
This process begins when Jesse chooses a location and snaps a few photographs. He then creates a miniature version using the pictures as a guide. According to Jesse, he sometimes has to go back to take more pictures in order to get the dimensions just right.
The Sessamen basement is home to Jesse’s own work area where he creates a variety of ornaments including everything from popular characters such as Bugs Bunny and Popeye, to more traditional decorations like reindeer, trains and wreaths.
“I don’t like to sit still,” said Jesse, “I enjoy having something to do.”
“He even cooks and bakes,” Margaret said of her husbands many talents.
Jesse formerly ran Sessamen’s Barber Shop in downtown Tyrone.