Nov 17, 2011 Amanda Seef Uncategorized
For the majority of the 16 years Chris and Christine Hussak have lived in their home, there have not been any Christmas lights hanging from the house come holiday time.
“One year, I hung lights on the gutter and my hands were cold and cut up,” Chris Hussak said. “I was like, ‘I’m never doing this again.’”
That’s a stark contrast from the more than 20,000 lights that adorn their Carmel Drive front yard this year.
“I got the bug and since then, I keep growing each year,” he said. “Now my wife is like, ‘this is insane, you have got to stop.’ But it doesn’t stop.”
Hussak has set the display, which includes a Weber spiral tree, to music using 48 channels to program the display. Visitors can tune into a radio station and watch as the lights blink, flash and spiral their way through three traditional Christmas songs (albeit the techno version), “Sandstorm,” a Finnish techno song, and “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood.
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“This is one of those hobbies where you really have to have the ambition and mental illness to come out in the cold and hang these things,” Hussak said.
He and his family began stringing the lights in August, and began assembling the display in the yard Halloween weekend. The display is nearly all homemade, including the 15-foot spiral tree with 10,000 lights alone, in white, green, blue and red. Five mini Christmas trees are made of upside down tomato cages, and light balls in the front yard tree are made from clear plastic cups.
“I go for quality instead of quantity based on my budget,” he said. The sequences are all handmade, as well. With more than a half-mile of extension cords, and 48 channels to set the lights, there’s a bit of technical work involved. Hussak’s career as a cable product manager helps, he said.
“But it’s not just the technical part,” he said. “It’s the artistic part, too. It helps to have a musical ear, too. My sequences work to tell a story, not just blinking. But to have a visual story.”
The display will grow, but should be ready by Thanksgiving night. The lights will run in 15-minute intervals until the day after New Year’s.
“We’re just trying to bring some light into a dark world,” he said.
Amanda Seef is an editor/reporter for Eagle Newspapers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.