Santa’s helper secretly decorates Parham Bridges Park each year

The 83-year-old Jackson resident takes pride in doing her part to make the season brighter for families who visit

Santa’s helper secretly decorates Parham Bridges Park each year

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Christmas is on its way, and one of Santa’s helpers is doing her part to bring some holiday cheer.

For two decades, Eva Ellis has taken on the task of decorating a Jackson park near her home.

“This is the second year for the candy canes. Before, we had the red ribbons that were pretty,” said Ellis.

Candy canes adorn Parham Bridges Park thanks to Eva Ellis. Source: WLBT
Candy canes adorn Parham Bridges Park thanks to Eva Ellis. Source: WLBT

The Jackson resident takes pride in doing her part to make the season brighter for families who visit Parham Bridges Park on Ridgewood Road.

For the past 20 years, Ellis, her daughter and grandson have transformed the park where she walks, hoping to bring joy to the families who play there.

“I feel like this park is part of me,” said Ellis. “I’ve been at this park, around this park and live very close by. Within walking distance. And I love this park, and I want it to be something that our neighborhood is proud of.”

Each year, the 83-year-old puts holiday decorations on the gazebo and the fence bordering Parham Bridges Park.

Since 1998 Eva Ellis and family have decorated the gazebo and the fence bordering Parham Bridges Park. Source: WLBT
Since 1998 Eva Ellis and family have decorated the gazebo and the fence bordering Parham Bridges Park. Source: WLBT

“I think that is awesome,” said Jackson resident Lauren Miller. “I think it shows that she takes pride in the community.”

Miller brings her four and two-year-old to Parham Bridges Park and loves Ellis’ giving spirit.

Lauren Miller and her children play at Parham Bridges Park. Source: WLBT
Lauren Miller and her children play at Parham Bridges Park. Source: WLBT

“I love that my kids get to see people doing stuff like that,” said Miller. “I just don’t think you see that often anymore. And so to see people take pride like that, and to get out and do things that they don’t have to do, I just think that’s great.”

Her giving doesn’t stop there. The retiree also makes holiday “happies” (Christmas themed earring) and passes them out to anyone she meets.

“It’s good to see a smile come up on somebody’s face,” added Ellis while searching through a bag of her creations.

Last year she made 125. This year she made 100.

The earrings are miniature Christmas tree ornaments in the form of stars and snowflakes, to gold and red balls.

In 1998, Ellis came up with the idea and went to the City of Jackson to get permission.

Decorations line the fences bordering Parham Bridges Park and the nearby creek. Source: WLBT
Decorations line the fences bordering Parham Bridges Park and the nearby creek. Source: WLBT

They eagerly approved of the idea, and she’s been doing it ever since.

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