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1995 - 2003

In June of ’95, our daughter, Emily, was born. The following Thanksgiving , as a father, I felt compelled to put up some lights up outside for her. This amounted to 600 clear mini lights placed on two Alberta spruce trees in front of the house.

Back in the mid-90’s, there wasn’t a much of a variety of mini light option’s available. Clear or multi colored was pretty much the extent of it. Occasionally, I did notice homes that had solid mini’s of red or green, but I could never find them locally. I mentioned this to my mother-in-law, who lived in Queens, NY. She discovered a store after Christmas of ’96 that had solid color lights available in red, green and blue. She picked me up about 600 of each color. Back then, on sale was $4-5/strand versus the $1 that can typically be had today.

In ’97, by incorporating these solid lights, our display began to expand. On Thanksgiving Days, my brother-in-law, Don and I started to utilize these solid color lights on Douglas Fir trees planted out near the road. Over a few years we managed to accumulate a few new solid colors, like gold, purple and pink/white. By 2000, our light display totaled about 6,300 lights and incorporated the front planters and 8 Douglas Fir trees. That same year, my brother Brian visited us at Thanksgiving for the first time. When Don and I went out to do the lights, Brian (reluctantly) joined us. We assigned him the duck house while we did the Douglas Firs. It took him pretty much the whole day to put 1 strand of a 100 mini lights on our tiny duck house.

Brian returned at Thanksgiving of 2001. When asked to help with the lights, he replied, “Not if you’re going to put them out on the trees near the road. Why don’t you put lights around the pond?” Bingo. We did exactly that and the rest is history. Bri didn’t return in 2002, but I did expand up to 7,800 lights – around the pond of course. It looked very nice, with the reflection on the pond. I new I was going to need more lights the following year.

Since my outside circuits were maxed out, I needed to add more external circuits to allow more lights outside. In 2003, for the first time, I added two 20amp, circuits specifically for Christmas lights. I told Brian about it and he returned that year. This was the first year we started putting up lights before Thanksgiving Day. We proceeded to put up lights until we started blowing circuit breakers. I quickly learned, with Brian rubbing it in all the way, that we needed to start planning and mapping out the display prior to actually putting the lights up. In order to achieve our plans that year, We ran one additional circuit out of the loft window and finished up with 24,900 lights.