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This is why we do this...


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Since 2007, I've been putting up lights in the yard with the help of many of you who have had problems and by me reading or asking questions, I have a decent display. To those who have helped me thank you.

Now unto the reason we do this:

Last weekend, just as we were about to have supper, someone knocks at our door. My wife answers the door and there is this young girl asking if it would be possible to have our lights turned on. They usually turn on at 5:30 at night and this being only 4:45, I explain that it isn't really too dark to see them. She says she doesn't mind and she was told to come here to see them and it was out of her way. So I said sure, I'll turn them on.

The 2 girls sat in their car for the whole show and halfway through the light show, my wife brought them hot chocolate to their car. They said thanks and were happy.

This past Friday, I picked up the mail as usual and there was a Christmas Card with names I had never heard of. Thinking it might have been someone my wife knew, I dismissed the whole thing and gave it to my wife.

That night, I was "cleaning" up a sequence I didn't like and she comes over to me with funny damp eyes. She's holding this card in her hand. Look, she says.

This is what was written:

"Just wanted to say thank you for turning your Christmas lights on and bringing us Hot Cocoa. You gave us some Christmas cheer. Little gestures like that mean the most in life. Thank you for sharing it. Your house looks beautiful and I hope more people stop to enjoy it like we did. Merry Christmas.

Bri."

The other girl wrote:

"Your Christmas spirit is something we will remember forever. Thank you for sharing it with us. Merry Christmas- Lydia"

I always wondered if people enjoyed what I was doing. Well this card proved it.

To quote the lady that wrote the sequencers prayer here on Planet Christmas, I guess I fulfilled the part that says

" And Lord, someday when I meet you face to face, may I hear you say:

When you made My people smile, you made Me smile"

Thanks to all of those who put up the long hours and frustrations that goes with our displays aside during this time of year and put Christmas Joys to those who come and watches them.

Thank you for reading me and helping me for the past years.

BigDPS

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Since 2007, I've been putting up lights in the yard with the help of many of you who have had problems and by me reading or asking questions, I have a decent display. To those who have helped me thank you.

Now unto the reason we do this:

Last weekend, just as we were about to have supper, someone knocks at our door. My wife answers the door and there is this young girl asking if it would be possible to have our lights turned on. They usually turn on at 5:30 at night and this being only 4:45, I explain that it isn't really too dark to see them. She says she doesn't mind and she was told to come here to see them and it was out of her way. So I said sure, I'll turn them on.

The 2 girls sat in their car for the whole show and halfway through the light show, my wife brought them hot chocolate to their car. They said thanks and were happy.

This past Friday, I picked up the mail as usual and there was a Christmas Card with names I had never heard of. Thinking it might have been someone my wife knew, I dismissed the whole thing and gave it to my wife.

That night, I was "cleaning" up a sequence I didn't like and she comes over to me with funny damp eyes. She's holding this card in her hand. Look, she says.

This is what was written:

"Just wanted to say thank you for turning your Christmas lights on and bringing us Hot Cocoa. You gave us some Christmas cheer. Little gestures like that mean the most in life. Thank you for sharing it. Your house looks beautiful and I hope more people stop to enjoy it like we did. Merry Christmas.

Bri."

The other girl wrote:

"Your Christmas spirit is something we will remember forever. Thank you for sharing it with us. Merry Christmas- Lydia"

I always wondered if people enjoyed what I was doing. Well this card proved it.

To quote the lady that wrote the sequencers prayer here on Planet Christmas, I guess I fulfilled the part that says

" And Lord, someday when I meet you face to face, may I hear you say:

When you made My people smile, you made Me smile"

Thanks to all of those who put up the long hours and frustrations that goes with our displays aside during this time of year and put Christmas Joys to those who come and watches them.

Thank you for reading me and helping me for the past years.

BigDPS

this post just needs to be posted twice...

when sequences are going bad and tripping gfci's get you down, things like this keep you oging

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Same here, we don't have kids. We do it because first, it's a passion, and second, my wife and I share many moments together when we build the items required for the display.

Seeing the seat belted kids with their eyes about to pop out of their sockets, that alone is my pay day. As long as I make people forget about the craziness the world is going through nowadays, I will continue putting up with blown 485chips, stuck channels, faulty net cable, frozen fingers when trying to adjust something in the dark, almost falling off the homemade step ladder and more....

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  • 1 year later...

This story was posted in 2010. This past season, while my wife and I were outside, I was busy talking with spectators whenshe called me over. She said guess who this is to which I gladly replied Bri and Lydia!!! Well Lydia wasn't there but Bri was. That was one of the 2 girls that had said we had made their Christmas so beautiful in 2010. Well shortly after talking to Bri, she came back a few nights after. She had made us a gift. It was 3 little felt thingy that represented 3 lightbulbs. They were on a string. They were Red , Green and Blue. To one end, it said "#1 Lightshow!" and inside the little box that it came in there was a message saying "Just a little something showing you my appreciation for your hardwork". There was also a card that said that our display was now a family tradition to come and see.

Now that is the reason why we do this. We even had senior home shuttle buses coming to see the light display. It was my honor to get on the bus with them and hand them out candy canes. To see their faces light up and smile made it even more worthwhile. To my wife and I, this past Christmas has been the most gratifying one ver since we have made these displays. It is a lot of hard work but at the end, that is the return that we like, Knowing people loved it.

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I got into this hobby because it was something I enjoyed and it seemed to make the Christmas season longer for me and my family. We live in Phoenix and sometimes it is hard to remember it is winter and Christmas time when it is still 72 outside.

This year was a little crazy and just a little "Off". I spoke to several people and they all said that this Christmas just didn't seem as joyful and enjoyable as usual.

I felt it too, but put my display up with just a few small changes from last year.

I live at the end of a dirt road without much space to handle large traffic issues, so I don't advertise and keep it as something that I do for family and friends.

I was having second thoughts this year about all the work and money that goes into this hobby as I was shutting down the show for the season, and then I was talking to several neighbors who told me that it was a little depressing in the neighborhood with my lights off.

That re energized me to do a show again next year!

It is the little things in life that make a difference to us, and hearing little comments like this, or seeing the wonder in the eyes of the smaller children always remind me of why we do this! It is to bring others joy as well as ourselves!

Remember, be thankful that you are in a position to be able to do this. Enjoy the creativity involved, and listen to these little comments from friends, family, and even complete strangers! It is these little things that make it so worth while!!!

Happy New Year!

Mike

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I can't begin to tell you how many cards and emails I've received over the years. I realized long ago that the display is far far bigger than any of us will ever know, and that for every card we have received, for every thank you, there are hundred that have been touched that we will never know of. I posted this letter some years back. It is one of my favorites.

I am a blessed single mother of one BEAUTIFUL baby boy. I work at Mount Vernon Hospital and I live close by in Belle View. One of the doctor's I have worked with for years (who also lives locally), told me.... you should take Ben to see the "Collingwood Lights." I faintly remembered that a few years ago (like five) I had driven by your house one evening and was wowed by the display. Last night (12/22/2007), it was 6:30 PM, I had a fussy baby who hadn't napped all day, I was exhausted from the work week prior, and I was thinking about all the hardships I had been through the past year. I decided to put Ben in his carseat and that maybe the Christmas lights would be fun for him and that he would take his long over-due nap. We drove through Old Town and as we were about to head home, I remembered Dr. Meyers reminding me to go see the "Collingwood Lights." I headed south, Ben fell asleep in the car, and as I popped over the hill next to Manor Care, I saw your display and I BURST INTO TEARS. I drove by and saw cars and cars and CARS parked everywhere, people standing in your yard taking pictures, and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DISPLAY OF CHRISTMAS that I have EVER seen. It sent chills up my spine and I parked in the Manor Care parking lot, looked in my rear-view mirror at my little sound sleeping miracle, and I prayed and thanked God for everything he has blessed me with and for everyone I love. I must have sat there for an hour. MAY GOD BLESS YOU and YOUR FAMILY. AND THANK YOU.

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It's funny that today, I just received 2 cards from people I never met. They are thanking me for the beautiful display and magic that I brought to them. One said it was a secret adventure trip that he took with his wife and 2 grandsons. He said that was the most memorable thing that he has seen in years. The other is just a flattering.

If I was going to tell you all the thank yous and stories that I had from standing outside and handing out candy canes to those who donated to our charity of choice, Make A Wish, I'd be here at the keyboard for days and days on.

Like Mike said, we have to be thankful that we can make these shows possible. I am thankful that I have a good job that helps me pay for this very expensive hobby in order to make others enjoy it. The long hours that my wife doesn't get to see me when I sequence, to the burns I get from welding things for the display, to the brunt fingers holding two pieces that doesn't want to solder, to the hot glue not sticking what I need to be glued instead of my fingers, I am thankful that I can have these displeasures. To see the face of people young and old and have them tell me "Thank you" for the display and how it brightens up their Christmas, then and only then do I think, I'm happy I endured these booboos for these people.

I like the sequencers prayer that someone had put on PC. Does anyone know the link?

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We got this posted to my website guestbook when we were in the midst of a serious battle with the neighbors. This was all the reason we needed to shut the negative out of our head and get ready to do it all again next year!

Posted by Brandi on December 24, 2011 - 12:05 am arrow1.png

I took my kids to see your light show tonight. Amazing work. My daughter is 4 and is medically fragile and we're not sure how long we will have her for. The look on her face as your house lit up to her favourite song (I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas) will forever be etched in my mind. Thank you for one of the most beautiful memories I will have with my daughter (and my son).

Posted by Brandi on December 24, 2011 - 01:09 am arrow1.png

Judging by the look on my ill daughter's face, and the excitement in her voice, she sure got something out of it, and if it happens to be the last thing she sees in her lifetime, I will forever be grateful to the McDonald family for putting on such a show for my daughter to see on what may be her last Christmas.

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@Python: Search Youtube for gandalf13a and you'll get to my account .I don't have many videos but the new one, Christmas Don't Be Late, was the one that made everyone happy as well as the autistic boy be all smiles.

@Senior: When I first came to this forum, a woman had written a prayer for the sequencers like us. At the end, the line that touched me the most was this: And Lord, someday when I meet you face to face, may I hear you say When you made my people smile, you made Me smile.

I can't recall who wrote it but I thought that pretty much summed up what we do it for at the end...for HIS people. :)

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I can only say that the reason I started decorating for Christmas is because I like Christmas & what Christmas stood for....that is the main reason.

Later on people would knock on the door & tell us how much they enjoy the lights & display items. That still continues to this day even after going musical back in 2007. So this would be the 2nd reason I do my display, but this was not the reason I did a display for. I like Christmas & I love the Christ that Christmas is all about.

However here are a few compliments I heard over the years that help me along.

"The lights give your house this certain glow, like a hallo going around your house".

"This is your fault" as she hangs lights on her house.

"This is our favorite house to visit"......as was told me by two different families.

"Things I never dreamed I would see in my life time".....Canadian Counrty Super Star Paul Brandt ....check it out on his website.

Edited by Alberta Bound
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I can only say that the reason I started decorating for Christmas is because I like Christmas & what Christmas stood for....that is the main reason.

Later on people would knock on the door & tell us how much they enjoy the lights & display items. That still continues to this day even after going musical back in 2007. So this would be the 2nd reason I do my display, but this was not the reason I did a display for. I like Christmas & I love the Christ that Christmas is all about.

However here are a few compliments I heard over the years that help me along.

"The lights give your house this certain glow, like a hallo going around your house".

"This is your fault" as she hangs lights on her house.

"This is our favorite house to visit"......as was told me by two different families.

"Things I never dreamed I would see in my life time".....Canadian Counrty Super Star Paul Brandt ....check it out on his website.

Wow! First Post Ever. Welcome to PlanetChristmas! It's good to be appreciated as your quotes would attest. Keep adding and putting up, year after year. Again, Welcome!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Wow! First Post Ever. Welcome to PlanetChristmas! It's good to be appreciated as your quotes would attest. Keep adding and putting up, year after year. Again, Welcome!

Actually I have been on this forum before under "Lightzilla" but I left the forum for a short period of time & came back as Alberta Bound.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We just had a yard sale and during the sale we had two unique stories shared with us.

One older lady was talking with her daughter and suddenly realized that we were "The Christmas House'- "Oh my your house was so wonderful. My husband just passed a few months ago. During his time with Hospice the nurse told us about this house- it was his one and only trip out in his last few months with us. It was the first and only time we saw him smile in the midst of his pain and tears. Thank You so much for doing this"

A second family shared with us that they brought their autistic niece to see the show. They had never heard her sing- but in the midst of her rocking around she began to sing along with the tunes. That night she fell asleep smiling and singing. "Thank you for making such a special Christmas for our whole family."

It was a reminder for those times you really don't feel like sitting in front of the computer that it really does mean something.

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