Last year, Oak Cliff couple Jamey Boozer and Steven Hammond created a Christmas lights show in the front yard of their Elmwood home, and it was spectacular. Dubbed “Christmas in the OC”, there were thousands of lights, musical coordination over a radio frequency and a “fireworks palm tree”. The show was so successful that they decided to get really serious. This year’s show will feature about 100 LED snowflake tubes, 500 channels of lights (compared to 64 last year) and lots of other stuff they’ve been working on all year. Boozer and Hammond have a website devoted to their lights display at occhristmas.com, and their address is 1603 South Montreal.
So, tell me about what’s new with your Christmas lights display this year.
Boozer: We’re going to have a reindeer jumping from our house to our neighbor’s house. And we’ve got these LED snowflake tubes, which we purchased directly from a manufacturer in China. They’re my current obsession because I think these are going to be the next hot thing for all of us Christmas crazies — they make it look like snow is falling. I discovered them around March, and I really wanted them. We also have DMX lighting, so we can wash one wall of the house all in teal, for example.
How did you guys get so into all of this stuff?
Hammond: Well, I’m a techie [he’s an IT analyst], so this is all fun for me. And we’ve both always been really in to Christmas. When you see the expressions on people’s faces, it just warms your heart.
Boozer: At first, we wanted this thing called ‘Lights and Sounds of Christmas’ (which retails for about $100), and it’s an easy way to create a light display. So we waited until after Christmas and bought it at half price. But we’ve outgrown that. And now we’ve got seven dedicated, 20-amp circuits for the lights. Whoever buys this house next is going to be like ‘what the heck?’
Don’t all these lights make your electricity bill go up?
Hammond: Not really. Our power bill was maybe $40 more last December, because we don’t keep them on all the time. We turn them off around 10 or 11. But we blew the breakers a couple of times last year.
What do your neighbors think of all this?
Boozer: We are really lucky because our neighbors are great about it.
Hammond: Cars jockey for position, and we have people driving up and down the street all the time. We ask that people don’t park in people’s driveways or honk their horns or be silly because this is a residential street, and we want to respect our neighbors.
What else is new?
Boozer: This year, we’re sponsoring the SPCA, so people can drop off items from their wish list, like a can of Easy Cheese or an old towel. We’ll set up bins, and if someone wants to donate something, they can, but it’s not required. IBM [where Boozer works as a consultant] is matching donations, so hopefully we will raise a little bit of money for them. Anything helps.
The SPCA wish list is available at spca.org.