Halloween is a perfect time to start decorating for Christmas. Just ask James Blake, of East Patchogue. Or Ken Rzemieniewski, of Levittown. Or Roger Hoelderlin, of Serpentine Lane in Levittown where several houses are lighted. The expanse of lights, figurines, blow molds, extension cords and inflatables stretching from rooftops — or gliding above them — to front and side lawns is a project best attended to sooner rather than later. The lights aren’t just for adding extra twinkle to go with the stars. Families are collecting donations for a variety of worthy causes, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, the Make-a-Wish-Foundation and cancer research. We at Newsday wish you all a Merry Christmas, full of love, laughter, joy and gifts. Schedule some time to enjoy the bright and beautiful lights of the season, courtesy of your neighbors in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The Melendez family, Massapequa
149 CONNECTICUT AVE., MASSAPEQUA
The family: Roy and Liz Melendez.
Hit the lights: “I start planning and buying in July, and the lights go up starting Nov. 1,” Roy said.
Lights on: 5 to 11 p.m. daily.
Lights out: New Year’s Day or Jan. 2.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “I want my visitors to be delighted and awed, especially the children.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “I really don’t have a memorable or favorite Christmas present. I’ve always been more of a giving person than a receiving one.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “I always dream of a white Christmas because I absolutely love the snow. It makes everything beautiful in my eyes. I don’t even mind shoveling it.”
Playing favorites: “This year, my favorite item [in the display]is a brand-new one. The dog with the present in the mailbox. It always brings a smile to my face.”
A Teddy Bear sits amid the color holiday lights display at the home of Roy and Liz Melendez in Massapequa, Dec. 13, 2017.
The Rouzier family, West Hempstead
18 MUNSON AVE., WEST HEMPSTEAD
Family: Claude and Marie Rouzier, with son Rocco, 11.
Hit the lights: “As we are enjoying our light display every year, we are already starting to think what we want to see, do and create for next year,” Claude said. “We begin our plans the day after Christmas for the next year’s display. It is something we start to investigate and look into how to make it if it is something we need to create. And if it is something we need to order, we actually begin looking then as well, because a lot of the companies place us on a waiting list so when the item we are looking for is received, we are able to purchase it.”
Lights on: 4:30 p.m. to midnight daily; music is on from 5 to 8 p.m.
Lights out: Jan. 2.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “My wife and I enjoy putting up the lights each year. We look forward to seeing people’s faces as they pass in front of our house. People ask us all the time, ‘Why do you do this display?’ Our answer: To make everyone smile, if even just for a minute, because for that minute you don’t think about anything negative, sad or discouraging. We are trying to instill in our family the same pride in celebrating our holiday as we learned from our parents.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “Our family’s most memorable gift for Christmas was the purchase of our home. We received the keys on Christmas Eve 2005.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “We love a white Christmas in our house; it totally makes the holiday season feel even more special. We remember as children there was always snow outside for the holidays, which seemed to bring more joy to the holiday.”
Playing favorites: “Each of our family members has a different item in the display they love the most. For myself, it is my Santa on the chair. He has been part of my display for many years and continues to have so many people smile when they see him. For my wife, her favorite is the Nativity scene, some of which are pieces from the ’70s. As for the kids, they always love all the blowups, the Disney side of the house and the ‘Star Wars’ side of the house.”
The Rouzier home's holiday lights, at 18 Munson Ave. in West Hempstead, Dec. 11, 2017.
The Walsh family, Lynbrook
113 WOOD ST., LYNBROOK
Family: Brendan and Melissa Walsh
Hit the lights: “Just as the decorations for Halloween come down, we start decorating for Christmas, specifically prepping the large trees,” Melissa said. “Most of the decorating takes place the morning after Thanksgiving through the long weekend, both inside and out.”
Lights on: 5 to 11:30 p.m. daily.
Lights out: Late January.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “The joy of Christmas. Brendan and I were married around Christmas last year. It is such a special season to us, and it brings us so much happiness. It’s a lot of work to put up all the lights, but it makes us so happy hearing from our neighbors how much they enjoy it as well.”
What’s your most memorable Christmas present? “We were engaged just days before Christmas a few years ago. That has to be the best Christmas present ever.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Of course. Is there anything better than a white Christmas?”
Playing favorites: “The large trees are very special, they are so bright and intricate, and take so much work to prepare,” Melissa said of one of their favorite parts of the display. “We also love the crèche with the Holy Family, as that is the true meaning of Christmas.”
The home of the Walsh family at 113 Wood St., in Lynbrook, decorated for Christmas, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, decked in holiday lights.
The Koerner family, Shoreham
15 SOUTHGATE, SHOREHAM
Family: Kris and Nicole Koerner, with children Mikayla, 5, and Kristopher, 10.
Hit the lights: “We start putting up our display at the end of October,” Kris said. “We don’t light up until after Thanksgiving.”
Lights on: 6 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday and most of the night on Christmas Eve.
Lights out: After New Year’s Day.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “We hope that adults and children will for a moment take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and feel the magic of the holiday season and take a moment to smile and enjoy it with their family.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “The most memorable Christmas moment was the year we got engaged — Christmas Eve 2001.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “We would love to have a white Christmas. While the snow is not great for certain parts of our display, it really feels like Christmas when you sit back and look at all of the lights twinkling in the white snow.”
Playing favorites: “We each have our favorites [in the display],” Nicole said. “I have two: I love the new Grinch blowup since that’s my favorite Christmas movie, but I also love the gingerbread men. Kris loves the manger setup and his leg lamp, since ‘A Christmas Story’ is his favorite holiday movie. Mikayla loves the lights on the house, and Kristopher likes the polar bear blow mold.”
Holidays lights at the Koerner house at 15 Southgate in Shoreham, Dec. 12, 2017.
The Giove family, Coram
65 ELM AVE., CORAM
Family: Arthur and Marie Giove, with children Maddie, 11, Dylan, 7, and pup Sophie.
Hit the lights: “Overall, it takes me about two months to put up the show,” Arthur Giove said. “The installation starts in September, but during the spring and summer we do the other half of the work, which is making all the new decorations and computer programming of the lights. We take donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Suffolk County Make-A-Wish.”
Lights on: 5 to 11 p.m. daily.
Lights out: Dec. 31.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “We want visitors to feel the joy of the holiday season no matter what age they are.”
Why I decorate: “One thing I am happy about doing this show is that we have made many friends we talk to all year round who do the same type of local displays.”
What’s your most memorable Christmas? “I have to say watching my children on Christmas morning is my most memorable Christmas moment.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “A white Christmas would be great. The show just glows.”
Playing favorites: “This year we added six 24-inch custom-made Christmas presents into what we call our ‘present pyramid.’ ”
Christmas lights are up at the home of the Giove family at 65 Elm Ave. in Coram, Dec. 12, 2017.
The Beatty family, Brentwood
163 GRAND BLVD., BRENTWOOD
Family: Rich Beatty with mom Bernice and brother Brett.
Hit the lights: “We usually start putting up the lights a couple of days toward the end of November so we can be lit by Dec. 1,” Rich said. “That’s been a tradition for many years. This whole thing was started by my dad many years ago. Even though he passed away 23 years ago, we keep the tradition going as much as possible. We like to add new things each year and change things around to keep it fresh.”
Lights on: 5 to around 10 p.m. daily, and later as it gets closer to Christmas.
Lights out: New Year’s Eve.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “When people ride by and see the house, I want them to feel excitement and the joy of Christmas present and Christmases past. It should bring back all those warm, special moments of family and Christmas.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “There were actually many, but I would say the old Hot Wheels cars and tracks, and also the Frosty Sno-Cone machine.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “I always dream of a white Christmas because when I think of Christmas and I see Christmas cards, it’s always a house in the woods and there’s lots of snow on the ground. The Christmas lights reflect in the snow, and it just gives you the joy of the season when there’s snow on the ground.”
Playing favorites: “My favorite and most personable piece in the display is the ‘Merry Christmas’ sign under the living room window that was built by my dad about 40 years ago. It’s still a part of this display every year, so we like to dedicate the display to him in his memory.”
The Beatty family home at 163 Grand Blvd. in Brentwood on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. They start decorating during the last week in Nov. and light on Dec. 1st.
The Messina family, Manorville
8 SHEILA COURT, MANORVILLE
Family: Gregory Messina with wife Janette, sons John, 11, and Jared, 18, and father-in-law Johnny Labona.
Hit the lights: “We start putting up the lights right after Thanksgiving,” Gregory said. “Let each holiday have its day. I put up this display in memory of my father, Anthony Messina, because Christmas was his favorite holiday.”
Lights on: 5 to 10 p.m. daily.
Lights out: The end of January.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “We want people to feel happy and remind them of when they were children and get that same happy feeling.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “A Fisher-Price slide projector.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Yes. I like a white Christmas; it just gets me in the spirit more, and everything looks nice and peaceful.”
Playing favorites: “My favorite lights are the red-and-blue dripping, 4-foot LED lights coming down from the high point. It is like a shooting star.”
Holiday lights at the Messina house at 8 Sheila Court in Manorville, Dec. 12, 2017.
The Salzmann family, Calverton
1 ROBINS CIRCLE, CALVERTON
Family: Charlie and Karen Salzmann.
Hit the lights: “I start putting up the display by the second week of October,” Charlie said. “I finalize all lights and decorations on the Saturday after Thanksgiving; that’s when I begin lighting up.”
Lights on: 5:30 to 10 p.m. daily.
Lights out: The weekend after New Year’s.
What do you want visitors to feel when they see your lights? “We want our display to bring joy and happiness to our visitors and be in the holiday spirit.”
What’s your most memorable or favorite Christmas present? “I have received many gifts that were special to me. All gifts are memorable to me.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “I would love to have a white Christmas! It brings back memories from my childhood.”
Playing favorites: “My favorite items [in the display]are toy soldiers. They are from my parents’ display that they used to do when I was growing up. They also were featured in Newsday back in the early ’90s. My father is no longer with us and I want to keep the tradition alive.”
Charlie and Karen Salzmann's home in Calverton decorated for the holidays on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.
The Pappas family, Oceanside
2621 LOFTUS AVE., OCEANSIDE
Family: Robert and Stephanie Pappas and their children, Angelina, 4, Colin, 9, and Nicholas, 7, and Harley, a pitbill-mastiff puppy
Hit the lights: “I’ve been doing this display at my current location since we moved in nine years ago,” said Robert. “We try to add a few new items each year to make it bigger and better every season. I take one of my vacation weeks from work during Thanksgiving week every year to begin my display. It usually takes me around five days to complete with the help of my sons, Colin and Nicholas. We try to have it lit the Sunday following Thanksgiving.”
Lights on: 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Lights out: Jan. 3.
Why I decorate: “I am motivated to create my display for the joy of my children and all of the kids on our block. We have around 30 children who live on our block, and I am constantly being asked when the lights will be done as soon as Halloween is over.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “As much as I would love a white Christmas I would prefer it not to snow until after the holidays, as I work for the NYC Department of Sanitation, and it would mean a lot of time away from my family during the holiday season.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “The only thing that I want for Christmas is for my kids to enjoy themselves and for my family to be happy.”
Playing favorites: “There are many things in my display that I love, from my large collection of old-time blow molds to my modern LED animated Santa and reindeer on my roof. But I would have to say that my favorite piece is my 10-foot-high candy cane Merry Christmas arch across my driveway.”
The home of Stephanie and Robert Pappas and their children, Colin, 9, Nicholas, 7, and Angelina, 4, decorated for Christmas, on Dec. 5, 2017, at 2621 Loftus Lane, in Oceanside.
The Grzybowski family, Westbury
125 CONCORD ST., WESTBURY
Family: Phyllis and Gerard Grzybowski
Hit the lights: “I think about Christmas all the time, but I actually start working on things and repairing things during the first week of October,” Gerard said. “It seems early, but really, by the time you’re six weeks in, you’re not too far from Thanksgiving, and that’s when you start to get nervous.”
Lights on: 4 p.m. to midnight daily.
Lights out: Little Christmas, Jan. 6.
Why I decorate: “The reason why I do it is I love it. I love Christmas, and I’ve always loved it. When I was a child, I would go around and look at other people’s lights, and I always said when I get older I’m gonna have a lot of lights, and that’s what I did.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Being in landscaping, I really don’t care, but honestly, I don’t want a white Christmas because I still have a lot of work to do outside. If we get snow, that shuts me down. I don’t mind a little dusting on Christmas morning, but anything past that, I really don’t want it.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “I don’t really wish for a lot of things anymore. You know, when you get to be 60, you kind of already have everything you want, so I’ll tell people maybe a bottle of vodka or a box of cigars — or maybe a cool shirt.”
Playing favorites: “I think all the stuff is nice. When you look at it, it all holds together and carries together. But maybe one of my favorites is a Santa Claus with the reindeer. I have a cable hooked up to my neighbor’s house so it looks like he’s flying over my driveway. I came up with the idea.”
The home of Phyllis and Gerard Grzybowski decorated for Christmas, on Dec. 5, 2017, at 125 Concord Street, in Westbury.
The Rzemieniewski family, Levittown
9 GLAZER LANE, LEVITTOWN
Family: Sue and Ken Rzemieniewski and their children, Chris, 18, and Amy, 17, with their dog, Dakota
Hit the lights: “My display starts going up the day after Halloween, as I do a large display for Halloween also. When I’m up on the roof taking down Halloween lights, the Christmas icicle lights start going up. I put two to three hours a day in and complete the wiring a day or two before Thanksgiving. The lights are turned on after Thanksgiving dinner to bring in the Christmas season.”
Lights on: 5 to 11 p.m. daily, 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Lights out: Jan. 2.
Why I decorate: “It’s the joyous memories from my childhood of my two brothers and I helping to decorate my mom’s house. These memories inspired me to continue this tradition in efforts to spread the same joy and Christmas spirit I felt as a child to my own family and great friends around the neighborhood.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “I always dream of a white Christmas. The decorations look brighter, the kids love it and add in a snow day and everyone is having fun. The sound is muffled, so that living in Levittown, you can hear the trains in Hicksville blowing their horns, reminding me of my second-favorite movie, ‘The Polar Express.’ But nothing can beat my favorite, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ ”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “My Christmas wish list is for peace, health and happiness throughout the world, as each one leads to the other.”
Playing favorites: “My favorite decoration is the large Santa face. As I remember, my parents, who were original Levitt owners, had that decoration on their house as we grew up. It’s about 70 years old and just reminds me of the great family Christmas gatherings we had.”
The Rzemieniewski family house decorated for Christmas, at 9 Glazer Lane in Levittown, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
The Winkler family, Levittown
28 SERPENTINE LANE, LEVITTOWN
Family: Danielle and Evan Winkler with daughters Gianna, 8, and Isabella, 6
Hit the lights: “We usually start one week before Thanksgiving,” Danielle said.
Lights on: 5 to 11:30 p.m. daily.
Lights out: After the new year.
Why I decorate: “Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and seeing all of the families who visit and enjoy the lights. We like to drive around as well and see others who have decorated their houses. Having neighbors who participate to make not just our house but our block extra special for all the families who pass by.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “A white Christmas, of course. Our children have yet to experience one, and if they wake up Christmas morning and look out the window to see a blanket of bright, white snow, I think it would make Christmas Day even more special for them.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “For our girls, it’s more like what’s not on their Christmas list, but mostly we are asking for health and happiness for our family.”
Playing favorites: “Every year we add something new, which always seems to be the new favorite. This year, we added the sparkling lights, making the house look like it is covered in glitter. Our girls love glitter, so definitely the sparkling lights.”
Colored lights and candy canes line the borders of the Winkler family's yard on 28 Serpentine Lane in Levittown, Dec. 4, 2017
The Hoelderlin family, Levittown
39 SERPENTINE LANE, LEVITTOWN
Family: Roger and Gina Hoelderlin (not pictured) and their children, Kayla, 11, and Jake, 9, with Sparky, a border collie
Hit the lights: “As soon as Halloween is over we begin to think of new ideas and concepts for our Christmas display,” Roger said. “We start putting up lights on Thanksgiving Day, and my goal is to have everything up and running by the Sunday following Thanksgiving.”
Lights on: Daily, from sundown to midnight.
Lights out: New Year’s Day or the first week of January.
Why I decorate: “We put our display up not
just for decoration but to spread holiday cheer. We love to make people smile, especially around the holidays. It makes us happy to see other people happy. Putting up decorations has been a tradition since my children were little. I loved to see the smiles on their faces as they danced around in the lights on the lawn. And now that they are getting bigger, they help me lay things out, design the displays and get on the ladder to put the lights up.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “My daughter and son answer with a big YES. They are hoping to wake up to snow on Christmas Day and are excited to run downstairs to see what Santa has brought for them.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “My Christmas wish list is easy: I wish for peace, good health and happiness for all of our family and friends.”
Playing favorites: “Our favorite part of the display is a toss-up between the giant, 20-foot Frosty and the handmade waterfall pond, which was my daughter Kayla’s idea. We love waterfalls and the outdoors, so this is a special part of our display.”
Brightly colored decorations of all shapes and sizes adorn the roofline, exterior and lawn of the Hoelderlin family's home on 39 Serpentine Lane in Levittown, Dec. 4, 2017.
The Stiegelbauer family, Levittown
40 SERPENTINE LANE, LEVITTOWN
Family: Brian and Kimberly Stiegelbauer and their children, Riley, 7, left, Julia, 13, and Isabel, 11
Hit the lights: “We start putting up the lights the week prior to Thanksgiving and have them ready to go the day after Thanksgiving,” Brian said, noting that there is an alternating selection of music that runs every 15 minutes.
Lights on: 4:30 p.m. to midnight daily; a musical light show every 15 minutes from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Lights out: Mid-January
Why I decorate: “We love the joy and holiday spirit that we bring to so many people, but this year it means a little bit more to us. Two years ago our family lost our father/grandfather [Frank C. Egan, at only 56 years old] to GBM [glioblastoma multiforme], an incredibly aggressive type of brain tumor. This year we are dedicating our light display in his memory and hoping to raise awareness and funds (nbtsevents.braintumor.org/campaign/2017- stiegelbauer-holiday-light-show/c159209) to find a cure for the National Brain Tumor Society. . . . We will also have a locked donation box set up outside for anyone who sees the lights and would love to help spread the Christmas cheer a little farther.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Yes! Who doesn’t love a white Christmas?”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “A cure for cancer, so that all families can spend the holidays with the people that they love.”
Playing favorites: “The guitar! My husband and I are huge fans of rock and roll; we go to tons of concerts every month,” said Kimberly Stiegelbauer. “It’s a little piece of something we love and are passionate about that we can show to the world. It’s very ‘us,’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen is by far our favorite of all the light shows.”
*The display is synchronized to music
The exterior of Kimberly and Brian Stiegelbauer's home is adorned in multi-colored lights and the lawn is decorated with many inflatable and illuminated characters on 40 Serpentine Lane in Levittown, Dec. 4, 2017.
The Galito family, Massapequa
425 NORTH BAY DR., MASSAPEQUA
Family: Pat and Tom Galioto with their children, Kristin, 15, and Mike, 20
Hit the lights: “Tom draws a sketch of the house in October with my son, Mike, then they start on the house the first week of November,” Pat said.
Lights on: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Lights out: Jan. 2.
Why I decorate: “My husband used to do it for our kids and loves to see their expressions, but now that they are older he does it for other kids and adults, and he truly just loves doing it.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “No white Xmas dreams, LOL. It covers the displays, and if it ices up, then it might do damage.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “More Xmas decorations! Last year the best gift was outdoor gumdrops. When he opened the box of gumdrops, he was so excited that he danced around the house with them on his head!”
Playing favorites: “My husband’s favorite part is the bright lights. His goal is for the house to be seen from outer space, like in the movie “Deck the Halls.”
The Galioto family house decorated for Christmas, at 426 North Bay Drive in North Massapequa, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
Ken Osman, West Babylon
1101 HERZEL BLVD., WEST BABYLON
Family: Ken Osman, right, and Richard Johnston
Hit the lights: “Display prepping, assembly and fresh painting starts in the middle of September,” Osman said. “Christmas lights and wreaths start to go up on the house and property the day after Halloween and continue every day until the lighting, the day after Thanksgiving.”
Lights on: 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily.
Lights out: Dec. 31.
Why I decorate: “I’m continually motivated by the thank yous of passers-by while putting the display out who say, ‘Thanks for doing this every year, it’s become a tradition for our family to stop by.’ ”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Doesn’t everyone want to wake up Christmas morning to a white Christmas? Of course.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “World peace will be the answer of many. But I hope for peace within our own borders. I hope our own U.S. citizens pull together, unite, stop all the negative politics and just stand behind our flag and salute it proudly.”
Playing favorites: “I have many favorite items in the display. But the addition this year of the giant joy sign is my favorite for 2017, and by the comments I get, seems many in West Babylon share the same opinion.”
The Osman residence at 1101 Herzel Blvd. in West Babylon, decorated for the holidays. Dec. 4, 2017.
The Coppolino family, Kings Park
972 SAINT JOHNLAND RD., KINGS PARK
Family: Gary and Sherry Coppolino with their grandchildren Paul, 11, Sophia, 12, and triplets Mikey, Chris and Gianna, 7
Hit the lights: “I start Nov. 1. It takes me about three weeks of setting up. I do some each day since I’m retired. This year my grandson Mikey helped me put up some strands of lights. I then go over my display and make changes. I’ve been decorating for over 30 years and enjoyed every year doing it.”
Lights on: 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily.
Lights out: After New Year’s Day.
Why I decorate: “Seeing all the happy faces when they pass by and see the display.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Yes. I would love a white Christmas because I’m still a kid at heart.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “A Dodge Challenger Hellcat, but my wife won’t buy it for me, LOL.”
Playing favorites: “To be honest, all of them,” he said of the decorations.
A view of the Christmas lights display at the home of Gary and Sherry Coppolino on 972 Saint Johnsland Rd. in Kings Park, Dec. 4, 2017.
The Garcia family, Port Jefferson Station
6 SUSAN RD., PORT JEFFERSON STATION
Family: Sal and Daihana Garcia
Hit the lights: “I have been doing this for the past 16 years, and the community has been enjoying my elaborate display of lights for a great cause, helping children,” Sal said. “We generally start installing the display in October, and the install carries on until mid-November. Completion is Thanksgiving Day, and we turn on the display the following day.”
Lights on: 5 to 11 p.m. daily.
Lights out: Jan. 2.
Why I decorate: “My motivation for this elaborate display is to bring the community together and help support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and raise funds to help children in need.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Sure, it would be great if it snowed on Christmas. It makes the display look a lot better. All the lights glow right off the snow.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “My holiday wish is to help support the children who may otherwise not get the services they need to help them with their treatment. We will have a secured donation box available at all times during the display. We have Santa Claus coming, escorted by the Terryville Fire Department, on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. Stuffed animals, candy canes, cookies and hot chocolate will be served free of charge for the community, and pictures with Santa will run from 6 to 9 p.m.”
Playing favorites: “My personal favorite part of the display is the 25-foot commercial Santa Claus.”
A view of the home of Sal and Daihana Garcia decorated with a variety of animated and colorful LED Christmas light displays on 6 Susan Road in Port Jefferson Station, Dec. 4, 2017.
The Blake family, East Patchogue
523 AMSTERDAM AVE., EAST PATCHOGUE
Family: James and Jeanne Blake
Hit the lights: The lights go up “Oct. 31. It takes 300 hours . . . a little over three and a half weeks to put up,” James said. “About a month prior, I lay it out, designing and planning.”
Lights on: 5 to 9 p.m. daily. Every week closer to Christmas it’s a half-hour longer. Next week will be 9:30 p.m.
Lights out: Jan. 10.
Why I decorate: “For my lost sister [Anne Reischman] who passed away. She was into the Make-A-Wish Foundation; she motivated me to actually do this even bigger for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She collected money from everybody and gave money to the foundation. She passed away last October from cancer. This is the first year I actually took a child on [to sponsor]. George, in East Hampton, he has a kidney disease that’s noncurable. He’s 9 years old. The only thing that he wanted and talked about all the time was Harry Potter. So I’m sending him and his family to Florida [Universal Studios]. They’re going the week of Christmas.”
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? “Yes. Joy and happiness for everybody. I love it. That’s [snow] like the sign of Christmas to me.”
What’s on your Christmas wish list? “I really don’t have anything, I’m not that type of person who wants. I’m a giver. I just want people to be happy. To see that . . . will make my Christmas. It’s a great thing.”
Playing favorites: “The ice skating rink” is my favorite part of the display, James said. “It’s 6.5 feet wide and 9 feet long, and there are ice skaters in the rink. Motorized ice skaters, they twirl around and they do flips. It was well-designed. I had it custom-made; one of the things you’d see in Macy’s or something like that.”
The Blake residence at 523 Amsterdam Ave. in East Patchogue, decorated for the holidays. Dec. 4, 2017.