The shopping list of items for illuminating a dazzling holiday light display is extensive. To match some of the ones featured here, you'll need:
> 15,000-50,000 (or more) lights
> 200-plus blow molds
> Nonedible candy canes at least 8 feet tall
> Several dozen edible candy canes for visitors
> 300 feet (or more) of cable
> Time — from several days to several weeks for setup
If you're like first-time homeowner and Ronkonkoma resident Peter Tomasello, you'll also need to pencil in 100 yard sales.
Decorating for the holidays is not new for Tomasello — for years he decked his parents' Ronkonkoma house in lights before they sold it. Afterward there was no place to store the decorations, so Tomasello said they donated about 300 items to a camp in Center Moriches.
When shopping for a home, he had a unique must-have.
"I specifically wanted something that looked like a gingerbread house," Tomasello said.
The house's brown exterior and white gutters helped seal the deal, and the lawn of his real-life gingerbread house is covered with dozens of blow-mold figurines — from toy soldiers to Santa Claus to snowmen and a choir in song. Most items came from Craigslist and yard sales.
Up in the sky, visitors won't see Superman, but they'll still be amazed. When Tomasello went shopping this past summer for decorations, he found one of the most striking features in his display and the first decoration to go up — Santa in his sleigh, being pulled by a single line of nine reindeer. They appear to fly in the sky but are actually suspended on cables attached to a tree and the peak of the house.
"It's sort of a dream come true having my own display," Tomasello said. "I can bring the happiness I brought to my parents' house to my own, and I plan to do it for many years to come."
In Valley Stream, Nicholas Angioletti remains on light duty at his parents' home. Every year he joins his father and a close family friend to erect the display. This is where you'll see the pair of 8-foot-tall candy canes, plus the Three Stooges, a 5-foot-tall wreath and more than 15,000 LED and energy-efficient bulbs. The home's location provides an eyeful of decorations from two intersecting streets.
"The corner location helps a lot," Angioletti said. "It's a lucky coincidence."
In most every other aspect, everything related to a holiday display is intentional — and labor intensive. At the Probst home in Massapequa Park, a pear tree encased in sapphire blue lights is the beacon for a bright display that draws neighbors and other Long Islanders. Pat Probst uses a lift to string the lights, starting at the top of the tree, according to his wife, Laura. If all goes well — son John, 15, is responsible for fixing any glitches with bulbs — he gets the job done in about four to five hours with the help of a friend on the ground.
"Everybody loves the blue tree," Laura Probst said.
Visitors can enjoy the lights and take pictures in front of the display through Jan. 2, but on Dec. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m., they can donate to the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola while sipping on hot chocolate, enjoying candy canes and listening to live holiday music courtesy of Danielle Probst, 17, and some friends from Massapequa High School. If Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, the rain date is Dec. 28.
No matter what the weather holds, in LI Life today and next Sunday, Dec. 21, you can see the best of the holiday light displays submitted to Newsday.
We hope you enjoy the bright and bountiful lights of the season, and we thank those responsible for the beautiful glow.
Tracy M. Brown,
LI Life editor
DAZZLE US NEXT YEAR
Newsday chooses homes for the Holiday Lights edition based on nominations from homeowners or their friends, relatives and neighbors.
The deadline for 2015 submissions is Dec. 1, 2015.
Some steps to help you get ready:
1. When filing your entry, include photos of your 2015 display. Entries of previous displays will not be considered. Newsday begins asking for nominations in October.
2. As next year's holiday season approaches, watch for the Holiday Lights coupon and the LILife reminder for more details about nominations of decorated houses.
3. Homes with light displays featured in LI Life in the past three years are not eligible for submission but can be included in a listing of displays to visit across Long Island.
MORE HOMES WITH AMAZING LIGHTS
Load up the car and take a spin around Long Island to see other homes illuminated for the season, including some on this list that were nominated for the Holiday Lights issue. Some have synchronized light displays and donation boxes for a worthy cause.
958 Adams St., the Frisch family (collecting donations for the Animal Cancer Foundation)
2323 Centre Ave., the Prainito family
325 St. Marks Ave., the Romeo family (display is synchronized to music)
178 North Fifth St., the Granata family (display is synchronized to music)
74 Broadway, the Henn family
3 Malibu Lane, the Fabris family (collecting donations for Stony Brook Children's Hospital)
3 Irene Court, the Terzakos family
11 Loretta Court, the Brown family
5 Forest Lane, the Fleming family
3 Albright Rd., the Williams family
247 W. 20th St., the Catanzaro family
2013 North Jerusalem Rd., the Bivona family
1360 Clay St., the Buturla family
5 Pinehurst Rd., the Mazzella family
232 Kalb Ave., the Cullen family
991 Second Ave., the DiRe family
4 Lincoln St., the Schlatter family
Garden City Park
58 2nd St., the Skrobe family
47 Primrose Ave., the Gluck family
21 9th St., the Taggart family
61 Flaxwood Dr., the Wright family
21 Kivy St., the Baade family
13 Weston St., the Kielawa family
6 Walden Ave., the Chazotte family (collecting donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital)
8 Colby Dr., the Esposito family
117 Schoolhouse Rd., the Aquilina family
509 Parker Ave., the Smith family
48 Club Lane, the Stevens family
240 S. Third St., the Vezzi family
205 Rocklyn Ave., the Albert family
55 Winthrop St., the Amico family
4 Wagg Ave., the Armstrong family
20 Bruce Dr., the Breimann family
44 Ohio Ave., the Testa family
144 Koehl St., the Enderley family
12 Pompano Lane, the Icart family
309 Philadelphia Ave., the Scarpias family
1737 Ann Rd., the Prestia family
5 Laura Court, the Forbes family
44 Deer Lake Dr., the White family
1369 Dewey Ave., the Whittaker family
1370 Dewey Ave., the Lossel family
544 North Oak St., the Cerra family
1038 West Dr., the Presti family
144 Weidner Ave., the Sitzman family (display is synchronized to music)
33 Jamaica Ave., the Spagnuolo family
Port Jefferson Station
6 Erie St., the Ryder family
8A Fifth St., the Curto family
3 Sergent Court, the Marciante family
203 Johnson Ave., the Theofield family (collecting items for the Sayville food pantry)
745 Arlington Dr., the Dabbraccio family
85 8th Ave., the Brigis family
8 Highview Ave., the Chiofalo family
52 King Ave., the Marrocco family (collecting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and the Stay Strong Andrew Foundation)
69 Baybright Dr. W., the Hassler family
23 Northumberland Dr., the Ferrara family
2845 Charles Rd., the Breeze family
175 Marcy St., the Mauser family (collecting for a hospital)
1101 Herzel Blvd., the Osman family