The Island of Lights Tour of Homes is one of the biggest fundraisers for Pleasure Island. Organizers and residents say people are not decorating this year. This will be Lisa Griffin-Ferrell's first Christmas in her new home near Monkey Junction. Her yard is decorated with red and green candy canes and reindeer. She even plans to throw lights over her bushes. She is ready, but when you look at her neighborhood – “We don't have any decorations except for just a few houses down the road. It just doesn't seem like Christmas,” she said. Griffin-Ferrell blames the lack of decorations on the economy. “Everybody comes in to where I work saying they're not ready for Christmas. They don't know how they are going to afford Christmas this year. So it's tight on everybody,” she added. Just down the road on Pleasure Island, the tight economy is also taking a bite out of a holiday tradition. For 17 years island residents showed off their Christmas decorated homes as part of the Island of Lights Tour of Homes, but not this year. Home tour Chair, James Allen, said, “I think it's better to cancel the tour than have an inadequate tour. We did have a few homes, but we didn't feel like we had enough.” Allen said usually 8 to 10 homes participate, but this year only two homes signed up. “I think the economy is probably a big thing. People are upset, and they don't know what's going to happen around the corner,” he said. While Allen blames the economy, The National Retail Federation says Christmas decoration sales are slightly up from last year. Organizers are optimistic that they will have a tour next year. If you live in Pleasure Island and would like to participate call 910- 512-7106.
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