30 years ago, a mom gave some extra Christmas lights to her son. That first Christmas, Raleigh Haas and his family hung them around the front door and the windows of their six bedroom home.
Every year after that, Raleigh added more and more white lights… thousands in fact. The trees and the bushes have been gleaming with the spirit of Christmas for decades. The evergreen tree in the front yard alone holds at least 3,000 lights.
“It’s not a gaudy, Clark Griswold ‘Christmas Vacation’ display,” Raleigh’s daughter is quick to explain. “If it was a Christmas song, this display would be ‘Silent Night.’”
The family waits to turn on the display until the night after Thanksgiving and there is a significance to that… Raleigh’s wife Kathy says the whole theme is waiting for the light of the world.
This past August, Raleigh had a heart attack and the volunteer firefighter, family man, and stringer of Christmas lights was called home.
The Fire Department in McCook, Nebraska had to carry on Raleigh’s tradition. Together, along with Raleigh and Kathy’s children, they strung lights on the Haas house last weekend.
And on the night after Thanksgiving, Raleigh and Kathy’s granddaughters will push the buttons on the remote to turn on the display of light and love.” And they’ll cross their fingers that all the bulbs light up. Now that’s kinda like the Grizwolds’.
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