Christmas Decorators Try For Clark Griswold Christmas

Ambitious Christmas decorators are going all out this year, claims Yahoo News.

Decorators are asking themselves:

“What would Clark Griswold do?”

Of course, the answer is not to follow the inevitable aftermath from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. It’s the razzle-dazzle they’re after when they mention a Clark Griswold Christmas.

In Sharpsville, Indiana, Michael and Janet Poulimas’ decorations include 100,000 lights over two acres, littered with color-changing pinwheels, snowflakes, teddy bears, penguins and a talking Santa.

Joe Ricciardi’s display in West Norriton, Pennsylvania, has skyrocketed from 200 lights in 2004 to 65,000 this year. Creating the spectacle takes 480 man hours. To light his 50-foot trees, Ricciardi rents a boom lift.

A nine by fifteen foot high-definition video screen highlights the Stone family’s Christmas lights in Edmond, Oklahoma, treating visitors to Christmas themed text, shapes, colors and even Tetris. And then there are the lasers. Yes, real lasers. Brad Stone is the creator of this residential light show that has become a very popular attraction in recent years.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans in 2011 were estimated to spend six billion dollars or more on Christmas decorations, about $47 per person. And you thought they were spending their money to get you something nice.

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Brad Stone reflects on his displays:

“[A] video screen allows us to do some unique things to get the family involved each year. The technology gets a little better each season, and this year we added a type of light that lets us make the display any color we choose. We have a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree that is one of the highlights of the show. It can display text, shapes, or play a game of Tetris. We also have a low-power laser that makes one of our trees look like hundreds of tiny lights are in it.”

“The only thing missing is fire and smoke.”

Apparently there is also a radio blasting with it all, adding an audio touch to an already mind-boggling visual spectacle.

And how much is it all costing him?

Stone replies:

“It really depends on the elements we are designing and adding each year. It can vary from $2,000 to $8,000 each year. The display is 100 percent LED, meaning we don’t really notice a difference in our December electric bill. Hard to believe, but it’s true.”

In 2011, the Stone Christmas Lights began partnering with OK Foster Wishes to help out with the Christmas wish lists of more than 9,000 children in the Oklahoma Foster Program. Stone says his goal is to raise $5,000 for OK Foster Wishes this Christmas season with his LED Christmas lights.