COVINGTON - Covington resident Josh Frasier wants his house to be the one families visit on their annual drive around town in search of Christmas lights.
He started collecting Christmas lights about 10 years ago because of his childhood fascination with lights.
"When I was little, my parents and I traveled about 40 or 50 miles to look at Christmas lights every year," Frasier said. "I got hooked on it."
Now that he's 26 and has a 2-year-old daughter, Grayson, he wants her - and every other child in town - to have something to enjoy each holiday season.
"I like to watch the kids," said Frasier, who lives in the Crooked Creek subdivision off Smith Store Road. "I don't know exactly how many (drivers) come by every night, but you can just look out the window and see a car slowing down."
This year, his half-acre front yard is covered with inflatable characters, including two snowmen, a 12-foot Santa Claus and two sleighs. He also has lights in his grass and bushes and a multicolored strand of lights on his roof, each distanced a foot apart.
"I like all of it," he said about the decorations. "But the 12-foot Santa, I love it, and my daughter loves it because it's so big."
Frasier even had to add onto his house to store all of his decorations that he's bought and received over the years.
"I built a porch over my patio out back and put an attic in it," he said. "It's about 12 by 18 (feet) and stores everything; I've got room to grow."
He said he started heavily decorating his home about five years ago; since then, he's noticed his neighbors getting more in the Christmas spirit.
"All of (my neighbors) love it. They think it represents the subdivision well," Frasier said. "Every year, it seems like more and more people are decorating."
Frasier said he begins putting up the decorations - with the help of his daughter - the first week in November.
"I try to get it done by the Friday after Thanksgiving," he said.
He said he will start taking down the decorations the week after Christmas.
"It usually takes about three full days to take everything down and pack them up," he said.
Frasier said his electric bill sometimes doubles during the months he has the lights up, but he tries to only keep the lights on from between 6 and 11 p.m. every day to help save a little on the electric bill - and so he can buy some extra lights.
"I usually spend about $300 or $400 every year on new items. I try to go the day after Christmas, so I can get some good deals," he said. "Plus, I have to spend between $100 and $200 on extension cords ... and this year, I had an electrician add some more circuits just for lights."
Frasier said he's spent thousands of dollars on Christmas lights over the years.
Fellow Covington resident Pauline Nutt, 65, has spent as much - or more - money, but her collection spans 30 years or more.
"I do it for the kids," said Nutt, who lives on Haynes Court, off Mill Street. "My granddaughter says I have the 'bestest' Christmas ever. Whenever somebody says something like that, it makes every bit of the 100 hours you put into it worth it."
She has almost all of her one-acre yard filled with lights and lighted figures.
"I have a 7-foot ferris wheel; and this year, I have a choir with five people and 10 angels," she said. "I light up the sky over here."
Nutt also has a lighted train set, a horse and buggy, a carousel, Santa Claus and his reindeer and a manger scene - some of which were made by her brother and some are between 20 and 40 years old.
"(My brother) keeps saying, 'You have too much,' but he keeps making and buying me things," she said. "It's something you've got to love yourself - I'm always a kid at Christmas."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.