Friday, January 1, 2010

The House With All The Lights

There is a house in my town that is often referred to as, "The house with all the lights." It is called this for good reason. It is actually three houses combined with the one in the middle showcasing the main display. This is no ordinary show of Christmas Spirit and excitement throughout the season.

Mike, the owner of the main house, begins his work of art in September and spends 5 hours a day for 9 weeks putting the lights and decorations on display. His wife also helps him in the task putting in long hours as well. Mike works the "graveyard" shift--which my daughter couldn't get a grasp on that meaning he worked from about midnight to about 8 the next morning. No, she was set on the term "GRAVEYARD." He works maintenance at the local Casino. I digress. Mike and his wife spend 9 weeks on the houses along with some help from their grandchildren and children.

The house with all the lights has a show with music and lights set to the music. The show begins with, "O Come All Ye Faithful" and a half size manger scene, complete with hay in the front part of the garage. Next, comes "Let it Snow" complete with a snow machine for the kids that blows tiny collections of soapy bubbles to mimic snow falling onto their delighted heads. The fun doesn't end there. The show continues with more lively songs as you stroll around between the three houses and across the street trying to see every display. From children making snow angels, to snowmen, and a North Pole scene.

The grande finale of the show is a moving tribute to our service men and women. A slide show of family they have serving and have lost along with special thanks to each branch of service. During our national anthem, the garage door closes to reveal the American flag. If this isn't enough, feel free to make your way to their backyard, but make sure you look at their electric meter first. It whirls around so fast you can barely keep up with the marker. The city actually graciously gives them a stipend for the 45 days that the display runs.

In the backyard you see a train that is the first battery operated train that could support up to 30 pounds. Directly above the train set is Santa and his reindeer in flight on their yearly journey. Santa and his sled are about 1/3 the size of real life. The reindeer are the animated lit reindeer. Eight reindeer with Rudolph in the lead. In the middle of the train display a tree made entirely of lights.

The doors are open, please come in and see our display. Into their living room you are welcome to see their 8 foot tree with its lovely twinkling multi-colored lights and beautiful decorations. Turn to your right and see the entire village and two trains that run simultaneously throughout its entirety. Next to the tree is another Nativity. This one is truly beautiful. The Wise Men in their ornate costumes have fantastic detail. The outer wall of the mission looks like what one might imagine the scene to have been all those many years ago. A plaque below the Nativity reads: We hope all our guests who enter our home leave as Friends.

And friends they have made, far and wide. Mike and his wife share their home and displays with over 32,000 visitors each year. The week of Christmas they see at least 9,000 people. These numbers do not include the people who simply drive by. And if you drive by, you are missing a lot. They have had visitors from Nevada, Arizona and even New York! The three houses have 125,000 lights and 1300 extension cords. He uses one quarter of his garage for those extension cords.

Nine weeks and 45 days later, Mike begins the dismantling process which takes him about 3 weeks. He told me every year he moves parts of the display into different places so that guests will find them and think or say, "Hey I don't remember that !" Next year...errr this year, he plans to create a second show so that he can alternate between the two. Here is just a small taste of his display(not mine) complete with a view of that meter.


Nikia, May and da kids said...

Great display. I keep trying to egg my husband on to just decorate the outside, but our big holiday is Halloween and that's the only time he and the boys feel like they should decorate. So we have become known as "that" family with all the stuff during Halloween.

I love these types of elaborate lighting displays/shows at Christmas. That is a lot of work and should really be appreciated.


KK said...

That's amazing! I didn't even get a tree up this year :)

Anonymous said...

Great display! This is what I always want to do - but never have enough get-up-and-go TO do it! Thx 4 stopping by my blog @

Emmy said...

We didn't make it! We were afraid Alex would fall asleep on the way over there as she didn't have a nap and was acting tired and crazy. Next year, next year!

Carolynn said...

I didn't make it this year, sad, I love the things he does. Spiritual, Santa, and Patriotic..the music and the crowds and the friendliness of this family. It is a wonderful thing they do.

I have to promise myself...start early this year. That way I can maybe get it all in.

mormonhermitmom said...

WHOA! Well with all those lights on the outside, they shouldn't need a furnace going on the inside right? Whooee!

Holly said...

Oh my gosh...that is fantastic. Next year when I am down in So Cal, I may have to take a little trip.

Jen said...

Wow! That is amazing!!!