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Long Islanders' dazzling holiday light displays

George Scarpias waits for Christmas all year and

George Scarpias waits for Christmas all year and takes the opportunity to decorate his Massapequa Park home, at 309 Philadelphia Ave., as much as possible -- with even hand crafting original decorations. (Dec. 7, 2013) Credit: Johnny Milano

Sometimes, it takes a U-Haul.

Such is the scope of George Scarpias' holiday light display, which features a set of Mickey Mouse ears on the second-floor siding and a lawn filled with Big Bird, Elmo, the Cookie Monster, a gingerbread house and one-eyed Mike Wazowski of "Monsters, Inc."

It takes the Massapequa Park homeowner about two weeks to construct the display, which involves so many lights that he treks them back and forth each year from his sister's home in Deer Park, right after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"She has a huge garage in which I store everything," Scarpias said.

Matthew Marrocco might need a similar space to house all the extension cords he needs to light his Selden display. According to his count, he uses 40 miles of cords to plug in the 50,000 lights in his display. By the time Scarpias is getting started, Marrocco, 23, is wrapping things up, because he starts assembling two weeks before Halloween. He has synchronized the display to music and used mostly LED lights, which are intensely bright. Marrocco acknowledges that all this attention to detail leaves him with OCD -- "obsessive Christmas disorder" -- which he proudly proclaims on a T-shirt. To him, the effort ends well for all involved.

"Christmas lights is what brings out the joy of Christmas and celebrating it with others, including family and friends."

Marrocco, the Scarpias and the other families featured in the annual Holiday Lights editions have a few things in common -- elaborate displays consisting of dozens of figurines and thousands of lights, traditions passed down from one generation to another and a love of the Christmas season that manifests itself in the glow of their displays and the smiles of those who come to see them.

Read LI Life today and next Sunday, Dec. 22, to see the best of the holiday light displays submitted to Newsday.

We hope you will visit and enjoy the displays across Long Island listed in the section. To the masters of light, thank you for brightening up the neighborhood and the holiday season.

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