Sheri's holiday decorations

My picture is of our home. The huge fir tree is called our "Staci tree." Our daughter died at the age of 5, and a relative bought us this tree, which we moved from a previous house when it was about 4 feet tall. Now it's taller than our house. This picture was taken right after I decorated it with lights. It's not a big display with fancy electronics, but I think it depicts a beautiful scene for the holidays.

Sheri of Moline, Illinois
Diane's front yard

Our family has been decorating for the holidays for about 20 years now. We literally go all out for the holidays. We are known around the neighborhood as "the Griswalds." Our entire home is decorated inside with more than three trees. The entire front yard is filled with various holiday displays. We spend close to $300 a month on electricity.

Years ago, we started with just a few decorations, like an outdoor, lighted nativity scene. Some decorations we had back then, we still use every season! Of course, each year we always add and rotate so each year is not the same. It takes us about a week to decorate.

Diane of Chicago, Illinois
Kyle's holiday light display

I started doing a Christmas display in 1991, and it grew each year. In 2002, I had some friends start a business called Animated Lighting. They asked if I would try their computer-controlled light controllers, and I agreed. Being somewhat of a techno geek, I got really into it. The first year was just four different colors of lights. My display consists of 900 feet of four-color rope lights; 24 red, green, blue, white net lights for a total of 96; four different mini, lighted stars and spheres in each color; and a few displays like Santa in a golf cart.

The following year, I added broadcast music from an FM transmitter that I built. I would work late each night programming new songs, sometimes until 4 a.m. Since my display was live, I could only test new songs that I programmed late at night when no one was watching. Now, each year, I add something new to the display and a few songs each year. It takes me six weekends to put everything up, and I always turn on my display Thanksgiving night. I have music from Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Trans Siberian Orchestra and even "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Kyle of Leawood, Kansas
Beth's picture tree

I started saving Christmas "picture cards" about 10 years ago with the intention of framing all of them to hang on one of my three trees. Well, 10 years later, I am not framing them, but they hang beautifully on my "Card Tree." Last year, the tree was 15 feet tall and covered. Our friends' children love to come in and find their family cards on the tree. I have friends who never took pictures now taking pictures because everyone wants to be on the Lynns' tree! It really is beautiful and fun to see how the families have changed. It also is a great way to remember the loved ones who are no longer with us. They are still included in holidays with their memories strung on the branches and the twinkling lights illuminating their faces.

Beth of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Frank's Christmas display

Our display of 20 Christmas trees began when we first moved into our house 25 years ago and found that one tree was just not big enough for all of our decorations, many of which we received from our students at school. So we put up a second tree in the front hall. With that, our trees took on themes. The living room was Santa's tree or the giving tree. The front hall was the Victorian tree. The one in our bedroom became the All-Season Tree—staying up all year and decorated for the season. When we put one up in the family room after Mary Ann assured me that she didn't think we'd put up any more trees, we covered it with all white ornaments and she proudly proclaimed, "That's s'no tree!" The one in the dining room really does snow!

On the deck is our bird's tree covered with suet, cranberries, popped corn and bird seed. Then there's my husband's fishing tree, the kitchen baking tree, the '50s tree, the north woods tree and several other smaller trees throughout the house…plus four small trees outside the front door. We even decorate a Colorado spruce tree, which we planted about seven years ago. The garland on the dining room and living room windows and up the front hall stairs add to the Christmas wonderland. The 6-foot wreath on the front of the house and the smaller ones to either side of the garage complete the front of the house. The blowup Santa's Toyland sits outside the family room window for guests in our house to appreciate.

Frank of Inverness, Illinois

Do you decorate your home for the holidays? Send us a photo of last year's light display!


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