Every once in awhile, we get asked the question "How did you become Christmas light fanatics?". It's a reasonable question, and to properly answer it, we'll need to go back in time to when Tim was a young child. Tim picks up the story from here:
I've always suspected that I was born to be a Christmas light junkie. In recent years, I rediscovered the baby book that my parents kept tidbits about my early life in, and found this wonderful quote, written by my Mom when I was 2 1/2 years old: "Timmy really enjoyed Christmas this year and could hardly wait to light the outdoor lights and tree each evening. When it started getting a little dark around 4:30 or 5:00 he would want them on..."
These early tendencies aside, my own decorating story goes back to when I was eight years old. My older sister was in her first year of college, and decided she needed some decorations for her dorm room. My brother Mike and I shared a room at home, and decided that it would be fun to decorate our room as well. We started with just a few 35-light strings (which was the common standard back then) and a little "Charlie Brown" caliber tree. Every year, we'd scour the after-Christmas sales and pick up some new items for our room. We had dozens of strings, most of them set to flash, so the room was quite psychedelic with all the blinking lights!
As I got older, I would help Dad hang the lights
up outside. Dad was a great inspiration for my lighting hobby as
well. He didn't put up a lot of lights, but set some standards that live
with me to this day. Also, we lived directly across the street from our
church, which had a large nativity scene. He declared "no Santa Claus"
for our display -- not because he didn't like Santa, but he didn't want to
"compete" with the real meaning of Christmas demonstrated in the
Nativity (see Why We Do It for our way of keeping
this tradition alive). Of course, I still kept the bedroom lit
brightly as well, even after my brother went off to college and claimed some of
the lights for himself.
As in the old bedroom days, I still scour the after-Christmas sales, and try to add some new elements every year. If I was to give two things that are unique about our display from other displays, I'd have to say a) our focus on spreading the gospel through the display, and b) the fact that we try to add unique, custom built items each year to make the display different than any other. You can see some of these home-built items by clicking here.
By the way, Cathy and I still go back and put up Mom's display every Thanksgiving, since Dad passed away in 1995. I consider this my "tribute" to Dad, since it was really him who inspired me to do this whole "lighting thing".
This page was last updated on Thursday, November 07, 2013