Baby it’s bright outside


Madelyn Knight

Top: 6415 Linden Drive Bottom left: 6733 Yellowstone Pkwy. Bottom right: 330 East Stop 11 Road

Rae Updike and Madelyn Knight, Reporters

During the Christmas holiday season, while not every house is decorated and screaming with holiday cheer, there are some that do go above and beyond. For those who are in dire need of finding the ultimate houses on a drive-by, may find this task a little tricky and definitely would take a trip to the gas station to fuel up. So, with a three hour search and a full tank of gas, the best Christmas set-ups within a three mile radius have been found, and put in one place.

Welcome, to the best decorated house-hopping list with addresses included. Not only do the following houses have thousands of lights, they also have meaningful stories behind them as to just why the owners set up their houses the way they do, varying from childhood memories to celebrating the growth of their family. When the holidays come around, those people go out of their way and set thousands of lights just to place a smile upon the face of those who pass by.


330 East Stop 11 Road

On Stop 11, just past Perry Park heading northeast, there is a daycare center that is also the home to couple Jennifer and Tim McNulty. Inside the house, there are around 700 lights just on the eight trees alone. Outside, including the arches over the driveway and the house, there are a little more than 10,000 lights, almost completely LED.

The McNulty’s didn’t always decorate their house the way that they do today. Jennifer and Tim had been trying to conceive a baby girl for around 17 years. Then, on November 23, 1998, their daughter Tabatha was born. To celebrate their 17 years of waiting, the McNultys decided to decorate their house and yard in Christmas decorations and lights.

“When we did (have a girl) we wanted to celebrate Christmas,” Jennifer said. “We wanted to make sure that Santa Could find us, so we started decorating.”

Hung across the driveway are five arches with white lights hanging from each one. According to Jenifer, some of the kids that come to the daycare she runs enjoy coming to the home after dark to walk under the arches.


6733 Yellowstone Parkway

About two miles away from SHS, right off of Banta Road, sits a house tucked back around the corner. If you keep driving you’ll find not only a house, but lots and lots of lights that are set up to flash and dance with music that comes through your radio speaker.

Carl and Seana Zoderer have put on a Christmas light show in the front of their house for the last seven years. Carl, the “Elf” behind all the set up, and his wife, Seana, want to make people happy during the holiday season with their light display show.

“There’s no better feeling when people come up and thank you for that,” Carl said.

Carl’s passion for Christmas lights started when he was young. His dad used to decorate their house with lights, so when he and Seana moved into their house 15 years ago, they wanted to carry on the tradition. Each year it has grown and for the past seven years they’ve added music to their light show.

Seana says that although the show runs during winter, the planning for it is a year long endeavor. The couple even went to a christmas light convention (yes, they have those) in Chicago in July.

At the convention, the Zoder’s bought a new transmitter that connects music to a radio station that can be heard all the way down the street. This allows them to sync music to the lights. The two set up between 10,000 to 15,000 LED lights to make their house bright. Other decorations they have are LED stars, santas and their “mega tree,” that is loaded with lights. Both Seana and Carl made it clear that making people happy was what it was all about.

“When we went to the christmas light convention… they asked the same question,” Seana said. “And he asked, ‘Why do you do it?’ Because it makes people happy.”


6415 Linden Drive

After four solid weeks of setting up and 25-35 man hours, Christmas lights were decorated all over the home of Mark Barnes. Located less than a mile away from SHS, on Linden Drive, Barnes’ yard is covered in inflatables, lights and has a speaker for playing Christmas music.

Barnes’ decision to put up lights stems from his childhood. Although his family did not have a lot of money, he loved visiting his grandmother’s house because of her neighbor’s light display. He says this was one of the main things he looked forward to at Christmas time. So Barnes says he wanted to pass on that joy to other kids that might be needing a little happiness at Christmas time.

“When we got our own house we started putting stuff up, just kind of hoping that maybe some other kid would get that same feeling of something to look forward to,” Barnes said.

Barnes has been putting up lights for nine years. His display started with only a few decorations, many of which are still part of the display today, such as the light up igloos in the front. Each year it has grown a little more, and today, his home has 12, 674 lights, all of which are LED. Barnes’ favorite part of the display is the roof because it is loaded with lights in rows.

“It reminds me of a gingerbread house,” Barnes said. “I’ve never seen anyone’s (home) where the lights were on the house and the roof like that.”

Barnes is also adding something new to his light display. For the first time ever, on all the Saturdays in December, Santa and two elves will be handing out candy canes to those passing by from 6 to 8 p.m.