Christmas Tradition


For many years, part of the Wade Family Tradition in Decatur, Alabama has been decorating Lawrence's 1955 CJ-3B for the annual Christmas parades in Decatur and nearby Priceville.

Sad news: this particular tradition will never be the same again, as Lawrence's wife Ora Lee was not well enough for them to be in the parades in 2019, and she passed away on Sunday, 15 December 2019. Ora Lee was a wonderful woman, who had been riding with Lawrence in his Jeep for over 60 years, and she will be very much missed. See many photos below, of Ora Lee smiling and putting up with Lawrence. -- Derek Redmond

December 2023

2023 Good news this year -- Lawrence was in the Priceville parade once again, with his son-in-law John at the wheel.

2023 Riding in the back with the giant gingerbread house were Lawrence's daughter Pam and great-granddaughter Hanley Rose. Thanks to his daughter Cindy for the photos.

December 2020

2020 Lawrence was back at it on 5 December 2020, in the Shelia Smith Christmas Parade in Priceville. Reflecting how difficult the holiday was this year, with the pandemic on and with Ora Lee gone, were Lawrence's surgical mask and his "Grinch Stole Christmas" sign.

December 2018

2018 theme I didn't know the Decatur parade had a new theme every year, but apparently they do, and in 2018 it was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Maybe they were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the recording of that song by 13-year-old Brenda Lee in 1958.

2018 display Lawrence ran with the idea, and decked his Jeep out with musical instruments, a record player and some LPs, including Merry Christmas by Johnny Mathis (100K JPEG) which was also first released in 1958. I wouldn't be surprised if Lawrence and Ora Lee remembered dancing to that, back in the day.

Decatur It was getting cold in Decatur as the sun went down on the third, so Ora Lee decided a blanket was a good idea. Lawrence has a spotlight for the display in the back.

Decatur The Decatur parade was a success, but the Town of Priceville's annual Shelia Smith Christmas Parade was rescheduled for Saturday, 22 December due to rain. A parade so close to Christmas will be exciting -- stay tuned for photos.

Priceville Yes, it was beautiful but chilly on Saturday the 22nd. Lawrence's cousin thought it would be a good idea if both he and Ora Lee wore elf costumes!

Priceville Ora Lee was not buckled up, but luckily Lawrence resisted the urge to step on the gas and take a cross-country short cut.

Priceville No need to open the ventilating windshield to keep things cool. Even Lawrence thought maybe a blanket aver the legs was a good idea.

Priceville But the sunshine made it a great day for photos.

Priceville The 2018 Priceville parade was in the books, just a little bit later than usual, and everybody headed home for some rockin' around the Christmas tree.

December 2017

2017 This makes eleven years since CJ3B.info started publishing photos of Lawrence in the parades, and I don't know how far back the tradition goes before that -- probably to his Dad in 1955. This is Lawrence ready to start rolling in Priceville in 2017.

2017 The display in the back of the Jeep this year revealed that Santa has a Black & Decker Workmate in his workshop -- who knew?

2017 Great-grandson Hudson enjoyed the Center Jump Seat between Lawrence and Ora Lee. Lawrence was doing his Jolly Old Santa impression.

2017 Lawrence actually got his jolly self into a slideshow of photos taken for the Decatur Daily newspaper, along with these happy twirlers from Priceville High. Photo by Chris Shimek.

See also photos of the 2017 Decatur nighttime parade, with Rus Curtis riding along, in Everybody Loves a Christmas Parade.

The year 2017 was a big one for the Wades' 3B -- as well as the usual local car shows, Lawrence took it over to North Carolina in October for the Southeast Willys Jeep Get-Together.

December 2016

The '55 3B always appears in the Christmas parades in Decatur and Priceville AL, and 2016 was no exception.

Ora Lee waves to the crowd at the Decatur nighttime parade, and Lawrence gives us his famous Christmas grin.

In the back, Lawrence used the fireplace he built a few years ago, this time with an elf in the rocking chair.

The backdrop for the fireplace made a good place to stash the doors they needed on the chilly drive over to Priceville this year for the daytime parade.

December 2015

For 2015, Lawrence was on the same wavelength as Macy's in New York, with the "Charlie Brown's Christmas" theme.

Snoopy's Christmas lights are important, because the Wades are in the parade in Decatur on Monday night, as well as Priceville on Saturday morning.

December 2014

Every year the decorations go on in the garage. New in 2014 was the custom-made Santa spare, and garlands strung along all of the top bows to make a canopy.

Saturday, 6 December 2014 was the Priceville Annual Christmas Parade. Chilly and overcast, but no rain (or snow) and the crowds turned out to wait for Santa to throw candy from Fire Truck No.1 at the end of the parade.

In the old days Lawrence would take the Jeep and the girl who would later become his wife, out to the woods to find a Christmas tree. Nowadays they stay on the pavement.

The onlookers enjoyed the old-fashioned Christmas scene in the back of the old-fashioned SUV.

The colors were Christmasy but the temperature was a lot warmer back on Memorial Day at the car show.

July 4
The Jeep was also decked out for the Fourth of July. Lawrence likes all kinds of parades.

The Decatur Christmas Parade has been the evening of the first Monday in December for many years.

A nighttime parade never fails to remind you of the magic of Christmas.

December 2011

Lawrence tried out candy canes on the front for the Decatur parade in 2011.

They also took the Jeep to the 2011 daytime parade in Priceville, and it was shirtsleeve weather. But Alabama occasionally gets snow; see Snow Jeeps on CJ3B.info.

December 2007

For 2007 the Wades had a fireside scene in the back of the Jeep.

Where's the grin? Lawrence in his "Christmas: Grin and Bear It" shirt.

Thanks to Lawrence for the photos. There are more of them in Everybody Loves a Christmas Parade. -- Derek Redmond

See also more on the Wades' Family Tradition.

Return to Christmas Over the Years on CJ3B.info.

FacebookVisit CJ3B.info on Facebook.

CJ3B Home | Contents | Search | Links | 3A and 3B Community

Last updated 10 January 2024 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond