Learn more about all things holidays and how we do things by clicking any question below. And if you have questions for us we are more than happy to try and answer them for you. Just use shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some people have a great reason (Religious, family memories, etc). Our reasons are pretty simple: Ryan likes doing it all! It’s a fun hobby and something that brings a lot of people joy during the holidays. Many people come by and see the decorations, and our home has become the “Christmas House” in our neighborhood.
So Ryan likes it… How about everyone else?
Our daughters get a kick out of it as well, and like it when their friends realize where they live. Everyone likes the display, although they tolerate (at best) Ryan’s constant “Christmas talk”. They do get a little tired of watching DVR’d Christmas HGTV specials, Christmas movies, and listening to Christmas music in the car year-round!
Over 70,000 lights and many custom made pieces (Candy Cane elements, lighted arches, North poles, etc). Ryan makes a lot of stuff, which allows him to keep his “habit” going all year long.
2006 was the first year in our new house. We had those shutter lights made out of longer custom net lights. It was also our first year for Lawn Lights, which are great! Small display but people who came by to see it loved it anyway!
2007 was a very busy year. When we moved in to the house Ryan said the house would look perfect covered in lights across the brick. To see how things progressed, check out the 2007 Projects Page!
In 2008, we tripled the lights on the brickwork (added green and red strings to the multis), and a few more channels of computer control. We also did 10 songs this year. We did not do a Projects Page for 2008, because we just did not have the time!
Things continued to grow in 2009. The biggest addition was the new 52 song show list! Check out ;the 2009 Projects Page for more information!
2010 was a big “Santa year” with a new suit, extended hours, and more audience interaction. No Project page this year. Too much work; no time to write!
2011 saw more Santa, more visitors and a few new songs. It also saw the Christmas Gazebo return after it was severely damaged in 2009. We also did our first professional Santa photo shoots for people who wanted a more polished look than the lights can provide.
2012 saw us continue to expand our Santa experience by adding several nights and some longer hours. We also added snow machines and those were a huge hit! Our oldest daughter Kierstin moved to Texas (finally!) which made our season even more special.
2013 and 2014 went along smoothly. A few songs here and there were added but for the most part we kept things status quo.
2015 we added a new 10 foot spiral tree. Adorned in green and red lights, this new element was well received and looked great with everything else
2016 was an odd year: we didn’t do a display. Ryan was simply burned out and we needed a break. It was nice to have some time just to ourselves and not have to worry about being home at certain times, keeping the Santa suit at the ready and other troubleshooting items that come up. It was just what we needed: recharging the batteries.
2017 we were back in business! We added a second spiral tree and got back to the business of creating a great display for our visitors.
2018 is a bit of a new year. We replaced ALL of the red, green and multi colored lights on the front of the house. We changed the lights on the spirals to LED (a BIG deal for us!). We moved the strobes into the spiral trees for a new effect. It’s going to be a great year!
2007 was our first computer animated year. We use Light-o-Rama for computer control and a dedicated computer to run it all. We had 48 channels of computer control in 2007 and 64 channels in 2008. For the elements we added in 2009, we increased our channels to 144. 2010 ran at 160 channels and 2011 went to 192. We’ve keep things there but moved different elements around as we added songs.
The music is transmitted to car stereos via a low-power FM transmitter made by Ramsey Electronics (and assembled by the one and only Marty Slack of Christmas Utah. We broadcast on FM 94.1 (that could change year-to-year) up to 200 feet from the house. Our station call-sign is 94.1 Comet FM. Why Comet? Well, Comet is one of Santa’s reindeer as everyone knows, but it also fits for Hayley… Hayley’s Comet? Get it?! The call-sign was recommended by our friends at Demented Elf Productions, who provided our voiceovers for our display.
No complaints so far! Many come by with kids or grandkids and take pictures with the inflatables or in front of the yard. They thought enough of the Christmas display to give us first place in the “Fairwood Christmas Decoration Contest” for 2006, 2007, AND 2008! We did officially “retire” from the decorating contests (starting in 2009) so that others in Fairwood have the opportunity to show their holiday spirit and get some well-deserved recognition. We’ve also had many of our neighbors bring the kids and family by to have photos done with Santa.
Many of them just pop into Ryan’s head. Some come from books or Christmas decorating shows and movies. We also get ideas from when the family loads up the van with blankets and a thermos of hot chocolate and goes out looking at lights (yes, people still do that!).
Ryan also belongs to a number of great Christmas decorating communities. The best one is called Lone Star Holidays and is a great group of people that share this hobby all year long (and everyone is invited so go check it out!) It’s like AA for Christmas decorators! The best time each year is the Lone Star Holidays Academy, which is an annual event held here in Texas that brings the holiday enthusiasts together and lets us all learn from one another (Check out the Academy here!)
We want to do some different things each year, whether it’s adding a new element, expanding our interactive (Santa) portions, or sequencing new songs. We want to keep things fresh for us and for our audience. You won’t see a complete display change (unless we get sick of it and sell it all… or we move!) because that would just be exhausting, but you can count of seeing some new things every year at the Corner.
Honest to God, we have no idea and don’t keep a total. Know why? First, it would be shocking. Secondly, it takes the spirit out of it. And even if we did know we wouldn’t tell you… just because you’re nosey! 🙂
Yes, we do. A few years back Ryan charged a group of kids down the street on December 23rd because they thought it would be great fun to pop our Frosty inflatable. Ryan chased those kids to their car, and one of them got his foot run over by his “friends”, who were taking off and not at all concerned if he was hurt or not. If Ryan would have caught those kids they would have had much more to worry about than a foot! So that got us thinking about security. Now we use motion activated floodlights, security cameras, and many signs around the edge of the property to keep people out. We also have great neighbors, who keep an eye out and yell at any kid who happens to stray into the yard.
On a side note (from Ryan)… why is destroying stuff fun for kids these days? When I was a kid we “corned” houses at Halloween (you know: throw the corn at the window or door and it makes a big racket, but doesn’t break anything). I’ll even admit that we would position people’s lawn decorations (flamingos, sheep, etc) into less than family-friendly positions. But we didn’t go out to break things. And we would NEVER have messed with someone’s Christmas decorations… that’s just bad karma. That kind of karma could get you on Santa’s naughty list… or you could get your foot run over! (he he!)
We had some very unfortunate damage done in 2009- Check it out here!
Yes it is. By the way, could you email us some details about your hobby so we can make you feel weird/stupid/etc about it? That’d be great- Thanks!