FAIRVIEW — Move over, Clark Griswold.
Wayne Dean and Kathy Lawson have more lights.
Griswold, in the 1989 film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” brags about his 250 strings of 100 lights that light up his house.
But Griswold’s 25,000-light display is nothing compared to Dean’s and Lawson’s display in Fairview.
“Last year we had between 60,000 and 70,000 lights, and this year we have added more,” Dean said. “I also have approximately 60 3-D figures in the display.”
But unlike Griswold’s display, everyone in the neighborhood likes the display.
There are theme areas with the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and a Ferris wheel. There are also animals, including dolphins, pigs, penguins, deer, swans and ducks.
If some of the displays seem a bit too real, that is because they may be.
“Not all the animals in the yard are Christmas decorations,” Dean said. “We have four cats, a dog and a pot-bellied pig.”
One thing people will not see this year is a Nativity scene.
“I have yet to find a Nativity I like,” Dean said. “I have the spot where I would like to put one. I will probably have to build one.”
And Dean is quite capable of doing so. He is a master electrician by trade and is in the process of converting all his displays to LED lights.
Two years ago, Dean joined an online group at www.doityourselfchristmas.com. The group is a discussion about computer-controlled holiday lights.
“This is a group of guys and girls that do computer-controlled lighting and have developed some of the programs for that,” Dean said.
That’s how he began. He bought and built his controllers from a kit he found on the website. The website is free to join, but members must join to participate in the forums. The website has more than 20,000 members.
The couple’s front yard is now a computer-controlled light show.
The couple has a sign that instructs visitors where to tune their car radio so they can listen to the music and watch the light show.
“On the ABC show ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight,’ eight or nine of the couples are members of the ... website,” Dean said.
When the couple moved to Fairview in 2006 from New Jersey, they began renovating their 100-plus-year-old home.
“While living in New Jersey, we did Christmas pretty large,” Dean said. “Kathy had seven Christmas trees in the house. We are renovating the house we live in here, so we went outside.”
“I have crates and crates of decorations. When I lived in New Jersey, every room was decorated. I even changed the curtains,” Lawson said. “Here, as we finish a room, I add more. This year I have two trees.”
The couple is still adding to their display, but at a discount. Lawson is a bargain shopper.
“When we go this time of year, we will look at what is out and try to get that after season,” Lawson said. “We go online Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to the stores’ websites and can usually get what we want at 70-75 percent off. Usually if the store doesn’t have it, you can still order it online.
“I get a lot of packages after Christmas,” Lawson said.
They even bought 45 strings of red, white and blue rope lights after the Fourth of July.
“They were out for July Fourth, but red, white and blue are also Christmas colors,” Lawson said.
On one of their many trips back to New Jersey after the sudden passing of Lawson’s mother, they found a dolphin and seal on Craigslist and picked them up while they were there.
The couple’s hope for their display grows.
“We are hoping that next year we can do a big launch and have a toy drive or a food drive with a walk-through display in the backyard,” Dean said.
Email Tammy Shriver at firstname.lastname@example.org.