For many of us just a few strands of lights are fine, but for others going all out is necessary. Kevin Lynch a now-retired New York City firefighter has been illuminating his home for the past 18 years. He was recently the winner of a $50,000 cash prize on the ABC show The Greatest Christmas Light Fight.
Lynch says it can take around six or seven weeks for him to decorate the house, but for the show he had to do it in three weeks. He enlisted help from friends and family to complete the job on time.
Starting with the lawn and placing each figure strategically. This part is crucial to Lynch as he wants people to be able to move around the yard.
“You’re part of the display. Get involved with it,” Lynch tells his visitors. “Little kids runnin’ around. They’ll come up here, take a picture. People use it as their Christmas card. Every year, I get Christmas cards from people I don’t even know!”
He even buries all the electrical cords underground to keeping people from tripping on the exposed cords.
The thousands of lights that are on display make the house easy to spot from quite far away. Lynch recalls one time when two pilots came over during their layover because they saw the house from above and wanted to find it.
Many would think that wind would blow all the lawn ornaments over, but Lynch stakes them all into the ground. Rain he says is his only problem, due to all the electrical cords.
Four miles down the road is Anthony Gurino’s magnificent display of lights. Each year he says the display gets bigger. The part of the Gurino house that catches the eye most is the roof. There’s text that reads “Peace On Earth” and a 15-foot long train on the right side along the top of the roof.
For Gurino the hardest part is visualizing where everything will go before the construction can begin. Not surprising considering how many figures and lights it takes to cover the house and yard. The next hardest part is the roof, which he then tackles first.
All in all both do it for the visitors and the community, the joy it brings the kids. In their minds, it is worth all the work.