More Mid-Southerners staying home for the holidays - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

More Mid-Southerners staying home for the holidays

COVINGTON, TN (WMC) - The economic crisis is forcing people all over the country to stay home for the holidays.

AAA says compared to last year, 500,000 fewer Tennesseans will drive somewhere for Christmas

But one Covington family says they won't let this slow economy stop their holiday cheer.

Christmas Eve at the Johnsons' house is jam packed with Christmas spirit.

Catherine Turner said, "We don't always get to all see each other on Christmas, so we come here and we open presents."

The troubling state of the economy is no match for the holiday cheer in this house.

"We all had less places to go than we normally do so it made it easier for all of us to get together," Ann Johnson said.

Jennie Turner said, "Any excuse to get together. We use it."

Everyone pitches in.

Ann Johnson said, "Today could be chaos, but we try to avoid that."

And everyone has a role in the fun.

Johnson said, "As soon as the kids get their toys, we have a basement and the kids will all go play in the basement and we will play Dirty Santa and before we did all that, we had dinner and everybody brought a dish."

Catherine Turner said, "Just kind of how it usually is and it's probably how it's going to stay."

They say it's all about how you look at things.

Ann Johnson said, "If we can fit 32 people in this little bitty house, I would say the key to Christmas is being together and being with those people that you love and if the heart is big enough, the house will be big enough too."

And when things look bleak, they say there is always a way to make Christmas cookies out of cookie crumbs.

"I don't care whether it's good or bad. That's life," said Tim Turner. "Next year will be better. That's the optimistic farm attitude. Next year is going to be better."


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