Extreme Chritmas Lights

Most folks I know spend several hours each year working on their Christmas lights. I, on the other hand, work on my Christmas lights about ten months every year. As a matter of fact, it's not unusual at all to hear Christmas music echoing through my house on the Fourth of July, or to see me in the backyard sweating over a half-assembled Christmas tree in the August heat.

I know - it's kind of weird. But, I think I can explain why I spend so much time and money on this hobby. I believe it all started when I was a little kid. Every Christmas, my parents would drive me around town to see the Christmas lights. To me, it was absolutely magical. We'd drive by Friendly Shopping Center to see the giant, waving Santa. We'd go see the large, commercial display at the old Jefferson Pilot campus. And, we'd always visit a little house on South Chapman Street in Greensboro.

That little house on Chapman couldn't have been more than about 800 square feet in size. I'm sure the old guy who lived there didn't have much money to work with, but that didn't stop him from creating an amazing display of Christmas lights. Every inch of his house covered with old C-9 lights. The front porch was crowded with trees and every blow mold figure imaginable. Sure, it may have been a little gaudy (actually, a lot gaudy), but it was amazing to a little kid like me.

A half-century later, I still vividly recall that old guy's house. He'll always live on in my mind. And, I guess that's what I'm shooting for with my Christmas lights - a little slice of immortality. Maybe 50 years from now, long after I'm dead, someone will be reminiscing about Christmases past and ask, "Do you remember that crazy old hippie over on Western Trail with all the wild Christmas lights?"

Besides, once you've seen a two-year-old little girl, wide-eyed and gleefully dancing to your Christmas lights, it all feels very, very worthwhile.

Below are a few videos of my lights. Show them to a little kid. I'll bet they'll like them.

A Mad Russian's Christmes...

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm...

What it takes to make the lights blink:

Here's a time-lapse video of me erecting my 20-foot Christmas tree: