Christmas Lights: Midlothian Family Wins USA Today’s Grand Prize [Video]

Each year the Bottoms family reunites to decorate their parents’ home in Midlothian, Va., and this year they have outdone themselves, with the Christmas lights winning the USA Today Grand Prize. This comes on top of winning the neighborhood prize for the best Christmas display in town every year.

Apparently father Buck started putting up Christmas lights when son Hunter Bottoms was seven years old. It started fairly simple, but each year the display grew with new additions, including musical light shows, reindeer hanging over the yard, popular TV cartoon characters and snow machines.

Bottoms told USA Today that he got so involved in the whole process his first paychecks went towards buying even more Christmas lights, not the usual movies or video games a youngster would enjoy.

Nowadays, what started as a way for father Buck to make his children happy over the holidays has turned into a lifestyle for his 27-year-old son Hunter, wife Emily, sister Ashley, 24 and brother Jonathan, 25. Every year they all get together in an attempt outdo themselves for the Christmas before.

According to Bottoms, they start in September with the hope of having the Christmas lights display complete by Thanksgiving, saying they have 178,000 lights so it’s a process they they have to manage all year. Apparently 15,000 of those lights were added in 2014 alone.

Located in a Richmond suburb, the Bottoms home has been on the Richmond Tacky Lights tour for the last 10 years and over the weekend’s buses and limos full of gawkers show up. Bottoms told USA Today people come from all over and that even though it’s just Christmas lights, “It makes some of the worst things in your life take a back seat for a minute.”


Bottoms mentioned that he is sure his neighbors are sometimes irritated by the spectators passing by to view their Christmas lights display. However, he did say he has noticed a bit of competition coming out of it with more people putting up displays in the area.

He added that they have done this “forever” and that any competition is welcome as it makes it more fun. Bottoms says that the annual display has become a tradition which he hopes his children will continue someday.

Recently Inquisitr reported on the fact that NASA can see Christmas lights all over the U.S.A. from space. Possibly the Bottoms home features in some of their images too. Watching the video below, what do you think? Is the whole Christmas lights display a little over the top or do you think they deserve to win a prize for their efforts?