Lee Family transforms home into a Christmas Wonderland

By: 
Ashley Wilson
Reporter

David Lee, with the help of his wife Stef, has been bringing Christmas joy to the neighborhood by transforming their home into a massive Christmas light display. It all started after finding inspiration in a letter from a family friend and now, 8 years later, they are presenting their biggest light show yet. “It’s a labor of love!” Lee says with a smile in front of this year’s exhibit; which boasts around 17,000 lights and several Christmas inflatables. “We start setting up towards the end of September so it will be ready in time.”
Maintaining such a display is no easy feat. Battling the elements is always a factor. Replacing dead bulbs and strands is a common chore. For consistency, the Lees use the same brand of Christmas lights, but this year, shopping for lights was more difficult than usual due to shortages. Luckily, they have an abundance of inflatables on hand, but even those come with special care. “I have gotten really good at repairing the inflatables!” Lee says. “Between the wind, cold, and water, they require a lot of maintenance, but I don’t mind. I actually wanted to try and fit another big inflatable on the roof, but it wouldn’t work with the wind.” Repairing blow up decorations isn’t the only skill Lee has picked up over the years. He has also become an expert in customization, like when he took characters from a broken carousel and repurposed them. They are now part of the display along the driveway. He also personally synchronizes the lights to the music for the evening shows, coordinating every detail down to specific strands and bulbs. “It probably takes me around 30 hours to sync 1 song!” Lee exclaims. “It’s so worth it though. Especially with songs like “The Little Drummer Boy” where I have the spotlights come in and there’s so much going on.”
The efforts of the Lee family have not gone unrecognized. As the display grows each year, so does the audience. “One night last year, shortly before Christmas, we sat out here and counted the cars driving by and we stopped counting around 54. They were driving by all night…it was pretty cool!” Big organizations like PNW Christmas Lights have visited and featured the Lee’s lightshow, but at the end of the day they are most thankful for the support of the local community. Neighbors allow visitors to park along the street, supporters donate display items, and their Santa letter drop off box (where the letter that inspired it all was left) is often filled with notes of thanks. “We have people offer us money all the time, but that’s not what this is about. The cards and letters we get from kids and folks who enjoyed the show are thanks enough.”

Read more in the December 15, 2021 edition of The Deer Park Tribune.

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