He doesn't have the figurines or computer light shows some Christmas decoration enthusiasts flaunt, but for sheer coverage, David McHenry stands out in the crowd.
“Dovewood Court (an Orangevale street where residents go in for elaborate decorations) is impressive, but nobody does the entire house like me,” McHenry said in a telephone interview.
McHenry's house on Kranhold Way is wrapped top to bottom in strings of lights. A low fence around the yard and shrubs are similarly draped in swathes of tiny lights, making for an impressive display.
But if you want to see it, better get there this year – McHenry, 55, said it's starting to feel like a chore.
“My wife and I spend most of the year planning for the singing Christmas Tree at Capital Christian Center,” he said. “I barely have time to get the lights up.”
Number of lights: right near the 20K mark
How long does it take: About 12 hours to put up, four to take down. It used to take longer when he had wood siding and hammered everything up with nails. But when he had vinyl siding put in, he installed clips
Why: Well, he used to put up a single string of lights along the gutter line, the way his dad did, then one morning sometime in the '90s he woke up with a vision of covering the entire house in lights. His wife thought he was crazy, but he came up with a plan, made the necessary electrical alterations to avoid blowing fuses and away he went. He's been doing it ever since.
What about the electric bills? Before switching to LEDs, his December electric bill was around $300, give or take. Now it's about $100.
Hours of operation: the lights are on a timer and go on at 5 p.m. and off about 11 p.m.
Other notable light displays in California can be found on the California Christmas Lights website.
The database is not comprehensive, with a significant omission being the impressive light displays put on in and around Sacramento's Fabulous 40s neighborhood.