Lance & Marianne's Christmas Decorating 2002
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January 19, 2003 04:18 PM

11-28-02: Thanksgiving Day

Started the Christmas Decorating today. Awoke to 2" new snow on the ground and temperatures in the mid-teens. At best, it made it up to 30 degrees today. Here's a panoramic picture of what things looked like when I started:

It snowed off and on all day, but in the late afternoon, it really kicked in. I had to stop decorating about 4pm due to the cold/wet from the snowfall. By that time, I had all 10 lighted wreaths on the shutters, the big 5' wreath above the door with the "JOY" emblem in the middle, the red and green house trim lights, the red & frosted white icicle lights, the porch toparies, the rightmost shrub and all the round netlight caps on the 4 cedars in place. Here's a picture of the house as of tonight:

Total Lights for Today: 3,856. About 13% of the way there.... Light count will really pick up when I get to the many wireframes we have to install.... Stay Tuned for the next installment tomorrow....

11-29-02: Friday

Today is being totally unreceptive to Christmas decorating. As of noon, we have 2" new snow, making a total of about 5" on the ground. I guess I can't complete the shrub lights, and I have been working on assembling some of the wire frames inside then taking them outside for setup.... Stay tuned for pictures tonight.....

Ok, it's evening now, and got a little work done, but the snow really slowed me down and killed my ambition.... I only managed to get an additional 2560 lights, all in the wireframe reindeer, sleigh & lampost. As you can see in the picture below, we got an additional 3 inches of snow today, putting about 6" on the ground, and I have to shovel the snow off the grass to put the wireframes up.

This makes the work harder, and I just lost alot of ambition today. I guess having to work 12 hour days the past 2 weeks (plus last Saturday), I'm just a little tired. Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be a little better, at least warmer, but I think still a chance of lake efect snow.... Hopefully I'll be able to get some rest tonight and get some real work done tomorrow. At least I got a new double-pole 40 amp mechanical timer installed today (our second one) with 30 amp circuit breakers, now giving us 4 timed 30 amp circuits for the outdoor lighting...

Ok, so here's a picture of the overall house as it stands tonight: (Notice I still have not taken down the thanksgiving flags or the 3 thanksgiving blow molds to the left of the house, maybe tomorrow... For tonight our house is a mixed holiday display <grin>. I also forgot to put on the regular outdoor lights for this picture)

11-30-02: Saturday

Well, another day has passed, and the weather once again was not the best for decorating.... I should have gotten outside and started by 7am, I guess. It was 45 degrees and dry then.... By 10am, it was down to 40, and started to sprinkle... By noon, it was raining fairly well... I did manage to complete the lighting on the shrubs across the front of the house,and get the lights on the shrubs out by the road on the left side of the house. Some of the snow melted, but they are forcasting 3-6 inches of lake effect tonight and tomorrow morning.... I also took down all of the thanksgiving decorations and replaced the banners/flags with Christmas ones. All toll, I added an additional 2,190 lights to the display today, giving a current total of 8,606 lights.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will get a better start in the morning, and get some of the blow molds and wire frames out in the lawn. I wanted to get the lights on the big maple tree first, but I'm not sure exactly what I am going to do with that tree this year... I was thinking about wrapping the branches in lights rather than the usual draping the perimeter of the branches with lights. I still have the 10 gold ball lights to put on the maple, as well. I just need to get myself more motivated early in the day.... Here's tonight's picture:

12-01-02: Sunday

Boy this weather is not making my job this year any easier.... We got about 3" of fresh snow last night, fortunately, the rain yesterday melted most of what we already had.... Temperatures were in the low 20's all afternoon, after a morning low of 15. I could have lived with the temperatures, except for the 30-35 mph wid most of the day.... Made the windchill fall to the -15 to -20 degree range.... Frozen hands & frozen feet now!

Anyway, weather not withstanding, I did manage to get some outdoor work done today. I did find that a lot of my time was consumed assembling some new wireframes, but at least I could do that inside where it was warm <grin>. After assembling 7 new display peices, I hit the outdoors, and worked on the lights on the shurbs on the left side of the yard, behind the roadside shrubs, and for the big maple tree in the center of the front yard. I decided to do a trunk & branch wrap this year, and it took quite awhile to wrap the 1,750 lights on the branches. I then hung the 10 100 light gold balls from the tree to complete the tree for this year. That's a total of 2,750 lights on the maple tree alone. Here's what the yard looks like as of tonight:

After I finished the maple tree, I installed the new wireframe displays. The glared out items in the middle are two new holographic displays, a snowman on the left and a wrapped package on the right. I think I will be moving them to another location as I get other things out in the lawn. To the left, in front of the left side shrubs are 4 more new wireframes, 2 red candles and 2 animated drummer boys. Behind the leaping reindeer is the last new display, a nativity star. This replaces an older plastic star we had there previous years that decided to shred it's wiring... I may get new lights for the old star and move the new one to a new location, as it's really too large for its present location.

After dark, I decided to hang the 4 white snowflake frames on the 4 cedar shrubs across the front of the house. We also got the "stained glass" window frames in the upstairs windows and the open plastic frames in the downstairs windows, giving a little more lighting to the front of the house. Today, we managed to add 5,165 lights to the display, giving us a total to date of 13,771 lights. During the week not too much will probably get done, all depending on my work schedule and how late I get home. I'll give an update as I do more work, though.

12-08-02: Sunday

Ok, so I forgot to update the website yesterday (12/7).... It was a rotten weekend again for decorating.... Yesterday wasn't as bad as today, but the first thing I had to do was to snowblow the lawn to find the grass to be able to stake the lawn decorations I got out.... Saturday was mostly a blow-mold day, as I got out most of the blow-mold decorations (22 of them). I also got 3 of the giant inflatables out, 2 new soldier boys and the snowman from last year. I also got the lights on the weeping cherry tree, and rebuilt the old plastic nativity star for the cherry tree. I moved the wireframe star over to a post over the kneeling santa nativity. I also got the wireframe present out, and placed it in Santa's wireframe sleigh... Since I didn't even get started decorating until after 1pm... It was at least warmer on Saturday.... Today was another story, however.... It started getting colder almost as soon as I got started.... Snowed later in the day, and we had several windy snow squalls that made decorating miserable at times. I still worked on thru the day, and got the tree on the front porch, and the 7 foot tall Santa on the porch as well.... Along with the new snowflake lights and the star lights on the tree....

I also got totally discouraged when I started to install the spiral tree lines down both sides of the property. As you can see in the picture, there are only trees down one side of the property, since half of the trees no longer function, and to find the blown lights is a long task, and I haven't had the time to work on it yet... I also got the new ropelight soldier boys out by the nativity. After the weekend's work, I added a total of 4,845 lights to the project, for a current total of 18,616 lights. Here's how it looks tonight:

12-14-02: Saturday

Oops, I never sent the update from last weekend to the website... Sorry.... Ok, back to work again this weekend. The weather today was certainly better than the forecast.... We were supposed to get 6-12" of snow during the day, but the temps stayed in the upper 30's, and we had on/off rain instead.... Got drenched at times trying to work, but still got quite a bit done in the 7-8 hours I was working on things. Today, I got out the remainder of the functioning old wireframes, a new animated wireframe angel. I have 3 more of these to assemble, too! I moved the holographic snowman and package to new locations and filled out the lawn with the majority of the decorations. I still have a few finishing touches to the lawn for tomorrow, along with the 3 other animated angels, plus a few new ideas for the left side of the house that shows as people are driving down the road towards the house. I decided to not put up the big tree (25') on that side as I have done in the past.... It's just too hard to get a good tree, and find the help to put it up. I've got some new ideas to work on tomorrow. Today, I also got the new inflatable Santa/Sleigh/Reindeer up on the garage roof along with a new wireframe wreath and a climbing Santa blow-mold on the right-side wall of the house. Here's what things look like from two perspectives, from the right and from the left sides of the property.

Right Side View

Left Side View

21,017 Lights

Hopefully I will be able to finish up most of the front yard tomorrow, but I still have some work to do on the back yard as well.... Today I added a total of 2,401 lights giving a new total of 21,017. I don't know if we will make it to the 30,000 light total this year or not due to the loss of some wireframes, and the failure of the spiral trees that I still have not had time to fix. I also have to audit my listing of lights to see if I have accounted for everything done so far.... Just have to wait and see, and I'll keep working on things thru next weekend, anyway....

01-19-03: Sunday

Ok, so I never got the final weekend pictures loaded, sorry. But, I finally got some time to finish things up and process the pictures I took from the last wekend before Christmas thru some I took today. From the best that I can remember of the last weekend of working on the decoations, we had snow, and then it snowed, and after that, it snowed.... As a matter of fact, on Christmas, it snowed... and then it snowed some more... If you get the drift <grin>, we've had some snow here this season. We are currently sitting at just over 100" for the season, and that is already over our season average of 98", and we still have at least 2 months of winter to go.....

Anyway, on to the pictures... As of completion of the decorating on December 23rd, we attained 28,303 lights outside the house, and the overall front yard display looked like this:

28,302 lights
(Some are on the sides and the back of the house as shown below: (12/23/02))

Oh, it was also snowing when I took these pictures, this is with a flash: (12/23/02)

After Christmas, when we got 20" of snow, and I gave it a few days to settle I went back out for a few new pictures showing the new snowfall and the house from the left and right sides:

December 28, 2002

I guess I never got around back to take any digital pictures of the deck or the fountain in the back yard that we decorate as well, but here are some detail photos of some of the front yard decorations:

Now that it is Mid-January, I can say I doubt our decorations will be removed from the lawn until sometime in March or April, since we had about " of ice on New Year's Day, to really coat all the decorations into the snowpack, and I'm sure not going to be pulling them out of the snow now and destroying the wiring... Have to wait until the snow melts now... Just to give you an idea, here are how things look this morning (1/19/03):

As you can see, it will be a few weeks before we can get anything out of the snow! I will probably try to dig out the inflatables this week, though, and get them down. The one on the roof is going to be a little more difficult, though.... Oh, if you are interested in a tally of the lights used outside, check out the following link which has table of everything used outside:

Outside Lights Listing

- Lance


Lance & Marianne Williams
7999 Brookside Drive
Rome, NY 13440
Last Updated: 01/19/2003 04:18 PM