The magic of the ‘look-in room’

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Christmas, for most, brings families closer together. In doing so, that closeness creates traditions carried with us for a lifetime. 

For example, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Maj. David Miles recalls one of his biggest childhood Christmas traditions — The Look-In Room.

Miles says growing up, he remembers coming home from school to the distinct scent of a real Christmas tree on display in their living room, which he and his siblings called the look-in room. 


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The room, Miles says, was perfectly manicured throughout the year, and no one was to enter that room until his father put up the Christmas tree.

“Our living room, you couldn’t walk in that room,” Miles said. “It was carpeted, and my father spent time. He would use a broom and sweep the carpets to where all of it was going in one direction. So, if you stepped on it, you could see the footprints on that carpet. Our living room was the look-in room. It wasn’t the walk-in room or the sit-in room until Christmastime because that’s where the Christmas tree would be. So, that rule was relaxed once the tree went up.”

Given the mystic his father created throughout the year of the ‘look-in room,’ Miles said he and his siblings anticipated the moment the tree went up so they could enter the room.

“He would get the tree in the early to mid part of December,” Miles recalls. “That was the extra room downstairs, and that was part of the house but was not part of the house the rest of the year. But now, that room was part of the house, and we could go in and enjoy [the room]. You can unwrap gifts and make a mess all of Christmas Day, but once that tree was taken down, and my father swept that carpet — that means no more footsteps and all the fun was over, and the room was packed away. It is not part of the house anymore because Christmas was over.”

There are many unique traditions throughout the world that revolve around Christmas, but for us, the Cheer Fund is that one tradition we look forward to each year. It is a tradition that allows people to help provide children less fortunate with the Christmas they deserve.

There is still time to donate to this year’s Cheer Fund. Anyone interested in donating to the Cheer Fund can do so by bringing a check to the Suffolk News-Herald office at 157 N. Main St. or sending your check to;

Suffolk Cheer Fund

c/o Margie Wiley

P.O. Box 1411

Suffolk, VA 23439

You may also stop by Ferguson Rawls & Raines, 332 W. Constance Road, Suffolk, VA 23434. Please call 757-539-2400 before bringing your check, or on the Cheer Fund’s website, With permission, a photo can be taken as you are presenting your donation.