‚??When one goes out, they all go out!‚?Ě
You just cringed, didn‚??t you? Like many of us, you‚??ve probably fallen victim to the dreaded habit that many Christmas lights have, whether they be a set on a tree or in a huge display in the front yard.
Pile on to that aggravation some inflatable figures, synced music, singing trees, and up the light count to over 100,000 ‚?? but don‚??t panic, because that only applies to some local holiday displays you can enjoy stress-free.
Lights are no source of fear for Plymouth resident Stephen Haigh, who doesn‚??t even care to count the bulbs on his double-block on Davenport Street.
‚??Honestly, I have no idea how many there are,‚?Ě he said with a laugh when asked to estimate how many bulbs make up the display that adorns both the front and back of the house. It runs the gamut from a full nativity set and star with several beams shooting from it to leaping lights and colorful starbursts ‚?? all synced to music.
That‚??s right ‚?? timed-to-music lights aren‚??t just YouTube sensations, but can be seen in our own back yard by simply parking in the lot behind Haigh‚??s house on Route 11 (which is also the Family Dollar Store lot) and tuning in to 99.1 FM beginning at 6:30 p.m. every night.
‚??When my mom (Dorothy) moved in to the other side of the house, I wanted to start putting a Christmas display up again,‚?Ě Haigh said. ‚??It started as one of those little ‚??Mr. Christmas‚?? boxes and I said, ‚??No, we can do much better than this.‚??‚?Ě
Family tradition is also reason for a light display in Tunkhannock.
‚??Basically, anything we could hang a light on had lights,‚?Ě Kevin Kukuchka said of the way his family, parents Tom and June and brothers Eric and Jeff, decorated their home for Christmas when he was younger. As the boys aged, the display dwindled until this year, when the trio of siblings decided to revive it.
The family owns Creekside Gardens, a business that sits in front of the Kukuchka house on Route 29 in Tunkhannock. Amongst the entire property, they‚??ve managed to squeeze in about 40,000 lights, a train display, a large ‚??Peace on Earth‚?Ě sign, and the ‚??Four Firs,‚?Ě a quartet of wooden singing trees, complete with moving mouths.
‚??They each have their own part in the 20 different songs they play,‚?Ě Kukuchka said. ‚??They‚??re a quartet, after all.‚?Ě
Almost double the lights, scraping a 100,000 count, make up everything from scenes of the ‚??12 Days of Christmas‚?Ě to reindeer and log cabins when the switch is flipped on the annual Nay Aug Park light display, now in its eleventh year.
‚??The park is the perfect venue for something like this,‚?Ě Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty said of the display, which he helps set up. ‚??It allows for a great, and free, night out.‚?Ě
Though the show is free, donations are accepted when exiting the park, all of which will go back into the park over the next year. More than 200,000 visitors are expected to visit Nay Aug, bringing in roughly $40,000 in donations.
So, what‚??s the secret to managing such displays that have run year after year? Timing is important.
‚??You‚??ve got to time it right with the weather,‚?Ě Kukuchka said. ‚??We got lucky this year with how warm it was over the holiday, but I know that come January we‚??ll be dragging everything in when it‚??s freezing out. Putting it up in better weather makes it easier.‚?Ě
Speaking of timing, if you‚??re gunning for something with a music and light combo, Kukuchka and Haigh recommend the Light-O-Rama program.
But what are the best lights to use?
‚??LEDs,‚?Ě said Haigh. ‚??I‚??m slowly converting over to make everything LED. It‚??s a little more expensive but, man, are they durable, and bright.‚?Ě
‚??I‚??ve blown breakers, fuses; I have 2,500 feet of wire on this house. It happens. You eventually figure it out.‚?Ě
There‚??s pretty much no end in sight when it comes to the amount of ways one can decorate for Christmas. What was once an industry riddled with pretty bulbs is now an undertaking that can involve snowmen towering at 12 feet high and animated Santas belting out ‚??Ho, ho, ho!‚?Ěs to those passing by. Take a glance at these basic types of d√©cor and where you can snag them to determine what plan of attack is best for your home.
‚?Ę Blow-ups: All shapes, all sizes; some move, some don‚??t, but every one takes shape using air. These inflatables are becoming ever-present in yards across the area, so if you want to stand out from the crowd of snowmen and Santas, we recommend the four-foot inflatable lighted hippo wearing a Santa hat that‚??s available at Sears for $52.49.
‚?Ę Wire figures: If air‚??s not your thing, get into the see-through wire statues that also come in all shapes and sizes, such as the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer decoration for $48.23 at Kmart.
‚?Ę Garage door d√©cor: Have a huge hunk of white space taking up your front yard that comes in the form of a garage door? Solve that problem with cheery garage door magnets for $22 plus shipping from bonanza.com.
‚?Ę Animated: Who doesn‚??t smile when Frosty tips his hat their way? Pick up an animated lawn character like a lighted snowman for $63.99 from truevalue.com.
‚?Ę Foam blow mold: Oldies but goodies, these are the types of decorations our parents all probably have stowed away in the basement. The best place it seems to find these out-of-date-but-we-still-love-‚??em figures? Ebay.
While incandescent lights may give off a warm glow for the holiday, they‚??ve faded as the best way to brighten a home thanks to the introduction of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). We‚??ll show you why.
‚?Ę Long-lasting: LEDs burn for 50,000 hours, as compared to 8,000 for CFLs and 750 for incandescent.
‚?Ę Money saving: Though LEDs and CFLs are a little pricier up front, throwing in that extra cash is worth it due to the fact above. These lights tend to be sturdier and don‚??t need to be replaced as often as incandescent, helping to save money over the years.
‚?Ę Reduced fire hazard: CFLs and LEDs throw off much less heat, with CFLs burning at 179.2 degrees Fahrenheit and LEDs at 87.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Incandescent? Those bad boys burn upwards of 335 degrees Fahrenheit.
‚?Ę Energy efficient: An Energy Star-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy of an incandescent, while an Energy Star-qualified LED uses 20 to 25 percent the energy of an incandescent.
Haigh House (Davenport Street and Route 11, Plymouth): Mon. ‚?? Thursday, 6:30 to 10 p.m.; Fri. ‚?? Sunday, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., through January 7.
Nay Aug Park (400 Arthur Ave.): 5 to 9 p.m. daily through January 7. 400 Arthur Ave.
Creekside Gardens (4 Church Dr., Tunkhannock): Dusk until 10 p.m. nightly.