A decades-long holiday love story, told in lights

For at least 26 winters and quite feasibly more than 40 of them, a small one-story house in a modest PNW neighborhood has transformed itself and its adjoining lot into something rather extraordinary: an homage to every archetypal creature and candy ever deemed part of an American Christmas.

It’s a story of obsession overlapped with devotion, one of tradition entangled with change.

From nestling each item into its perfect spot in the ground to creating just the right rooftop tableaux, it takes months to execute the intricate winter wonderland.

It’s a job the sons who grew up in the home now carry on in memory of their late father. It’s a job marveled at by scores of children and adults who have chosen to make it part of their holiday tradition (and perhaps met with less enthusiasm by those on the same street who must endure the traffic).

And what of the results?

Depending on the viewer’s preferences and emotional state, they may be deemed wondrous, excessive, overwhelming, or delightful—or a mix of all of the above. Coincidentally, this mirrors how many in the U.S. feel about holidays (both observed and experienced).

Should you or yours be experiencing any calendar-related angst, here’s hoping that one family’s sprawling take on seasonal greetings lightens it…and/or magnifies your feelings of good will toward others.

And if you’re the type who revels in the holidays, know that in at least one tiny corner of the universe you’ve got plenty of reindeer, snowfolk, candy canes, nutcrackers, penguins, santas, and lots, lots more to keep you company.

In a neighborhood of modest homes, a house with a double lot means plenty of room for plastic reindeers to leap through the night

Illuminated glass-block snowfolks light the way to the home's front windows, where holiday displays entice....

...while the latticed bower--topped with a peppermint garland--leads visitors to the adjoining lot's displays (if approximately 100 feet of lighted promenade didn't do the job already)

The home's wreath-encircled front windows turn into displays, such as this village scene complete with moving train

The breadth and depth of the adjoining lot permits penguins to play with deer, santas to mix with bears, and every bush and tree to serve as scaffolding for lights

Even if the house and yard could be mapped in 12x12 foot increments, it seems certain something would be overlooked

A giant candy cane serves as sentry for the 1-story house and its nutcrackers, artificial snowfolk, giant candy canes, garlands, lighted bushes and trees (and lots, lots more)

Stand in one spot and look up, and your eyes will be filled...then move a foot and look down, and you've found additional vignettes

A last glimpse from across the street, athough the scene extends a bit more than my camera's eye captured

This post dedicated to Paula of Paula’s Diary, who shares her love of holidays—and her life in and around Vienna, Austria—with her lucky readers.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you Vix!! Without knowing, you nailed it. Because the evening I read your posting, I was busy arranging holiday lights around the apartment. I must admit I am more experienced in photographing lights than arranging them by myself. It took me some time to get them right. Too long in Mr Paula’s eyes. So he asked if I were not acting quite maniac. Iaughed and pulled him over to the computer, pointing at the closting of your posting and told him “No! I am just in love with the holidays!”

    I hope you had a nice weekend, somehow the holidays were not much more than a weekend. I can’t believe it’s all over already but I sense some festive feelings – I am going to decorate the door for Carnival (Fasching) and Easter this year! More door-wreaths to come.

  2. Paula —

    A happy coincidence, then! Tell Mr P until you have a glassblock snowfamily in your living room you aren’t at all out of control. Though I can’t QUITE believe you’re already gearing up for the next celebration!

    Thanks for your holiday thoughts; I was out-of-town with family and am now readjusting to work and all the chores I avoided before leaving. Luckily we have another 3-day weekend for New Year’s!

  3. Happy New Year! I’ve been very delinquent in blog-land recently; still totally overwhelmed by new job and laptop-leisure time is next to zero.
    Hope 2012 brings you health and happiness 😉

  4. Ms EO—

    I hear you on the “delinquency;” no worries there! I’m hoping the new job eases up a bit and you get more downtime.

    Thanks so much for stopping by(I hope to return the favor before my winter holiday ends, otherwise it looks grim, ha). Best wishes for 2012 to you and yours!

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