Hello, my name is Todd Feist and I am a self proclaimed Christmas light “enthusiast”. My decorating days started when I was about 15 or 16 years old in Bismarck, North Dakota. I believe my first string of lights was one of those brand new (at the time) “motion light” sets that I was absolutely amazed by. My displays grew over the years and eventually culminated with a pretty nice display of, I’d guess between 5,000 and 10,000 lights. Those were the days when I would use every possible outdoor outlet and light socket and surely drove my Dad crazy. My lights had to be perfect and I invested heavily in “shingle tabs” that allowed me to align every light perfectly. I’d trek up onto the roof in snow storms to shovel the snow off of my lights or replace a single bulb that was out or didn’t look right. Of course, at the time, I have some heavy competition in the form of my good friend Eric who lived a block away and within view of my house. I’d spend hours on my roof, he’d spend hours on his, both of us staring each other down and trying to figure out each other’s plans for the year. Of course I’ll tell you mine was always better, and I’m sure he would say the opposite – that was what made it fun. We were on the “limo route”, the local limo company would do light tours and they would always include our street, apparently we had succeeded in drawing attention of others. Then my family moved to South Dakota and we sold all of our lights. It didn’t take long for the bug to bite me again in South Dakota and I started decorating my parents house. Soon I moved out on my own and for several years I didn’t do any decorating.
Eventually I moved to California and bought a house. I slowly started building my supply of lights and did nice, but conservative decorating. When we moved into our current home I saw many opportunities for decorating, so it was time to go all out. Over the last three years we’ve increased our light collection and have gradually grown our display. The display you see today is the result of many years of experience.
To say I do the display by myself would be a lie. While I do most of the physical work, my wife and children help immensely. They are my moral support, my motivation and usually end up doing the less glamorous repetitive work (like lining inside windows with lights). There’s nothing like a child saying “wow daddy, that’s really cute” to motivate you. They also put up with me and the late nights on the roof and non-stop decorating for weeks at a time. Our display wouldn’t look like it does without the support of my family.
I hope you enjoy the display. I don’t do it for attention or money, I do it because I love to see the faces of the children that see the display for the first time. I do it for the people I meet along the way, sometimes they are enthusiasts like me, other times they are people who just enjoy a nice display. Decorating brings neighborhoods together, brings people together, to me that’s time, money and energy well spent.