‘Tis the season for decorating. To varying degrees, houses inside and out are decked out for the holidays. Steve Revis has two Christmas trees in his house as well as other holiday decorations but it’s upstairs in his bonus room where the real magic of the season takes place.
A good three-quarters of the room is taken over by a massive toy train display which is now under a blanket of snow. There are two trains that travel the tracks, in opposite directions, and one of them is the “Polar Express.” The trains travel through tiny villages, all decorated for the holidays. The inhabitants of the villages can be seen doing various holiday-related activities like sledding and caroling.
Revis got his first train set as a Christmas gift when he was about five years old.
“That was enough to provoke an interest,” he said. “Later on, as I got into school, electric trains got replaced by the Boy Scouts.”
Revis entered military service after he graduated from high school and when he got out, he started back with trains.
“Obviously, I didn’t go out and buy what you see here,” he said. “It’s been collected a little at a time. My grandson, Devin Patterson, made the houses.”
Many of the scenes set up along the train tracks are from the Polar Express movie.
“There’s a scene where the train is being chased by wolves, so I have wolves here,” Revis said. “At the end, anyone who passes by and believes in Santa Claus, the bell will ring. If it doesn’t ring, then they don’t believe.”
When Christmas is over, Revis will take up all the Christmas decorations from the display. He’ll leave the snow until February or March, then everything will turn green. When fall comes, it’ll change again. When Halloween comes, there’ll be more changes.
“My wife and I never met a holiday we didn’t like,” Revis said.
The couple would do all the decorating together until Revis’ wife passed away in February 2016.
Watching the trains travel the tracks is mesmerizing. Revis admits to spending hours up in the room, with the trains running, reading a book.
“It’s therapeutic,” he said. “It’s hard to keep a thousand different things on your mind while you’re involved in something like this. I have a motorcycle and I do spend some time on the road, for the same reason.”
Revis has been involved in the Lincoln Theatre Guild off and on for more than 30 years. His daughter, Sarah Revis Patterson met her husband, Dante Patterson, while they were doing a “Music Man” production. He was also part of the cast for “Thunder Over Carolina” in 2017 and 2018 and the Ramsour’s Mill ghost walk in 2018 and 2019.