The holiday season is in full swing, and many locals have decked their halls with the sparkle and flash of twinkling Christmas lights.
It is an enchanting image. All the good wishes of the season seem to be wrapped up in their warm glow.
For Marty and Allison Huntley, who live on the outskirts of West Union, the holidays are an opportunity to give the gift of Christmas lights.
The Huntley’s passion for exterior illumination began over 20 years ago, and with every new holiday season their display grows and sparkles all the more.
“We do this for everyone to enjoy,” Marty explains, “We want people to come and bring their families.”
And people do come.
For the locals, it’s a treasure. On any given night it’s a common sight to see a ribbon of headlights following the road to the Huntley’s home where cars queue up to see the display.
The Huntleys clearly enjoy the delight their winter wonderland inspires.
“We tell people to get out and look around,” Allison says. “We do it all for them.”
The festive exhibition stretches across their lawn and consists of several yuletide scenes: Santa and his reindeer, a Christmas train, a nativity, snowmen, and new this year, a stand of lighted Christmas trees linked to a computer program which enables the synchronization of lights and holiday music on channel 88.1 FM. Standing in the midst of the panorama is the Huntley home, framed entirely in lights.
In the beginning, the Huntleys explain, they decorated their home to introduce the holiday tradition to their children, then, later, to their grandchildren.
“Our kids were our inspiration,” Marty says, “It’s grown a little every year and now everyone in the family pitches in to help hang the lights and set up the displays.”
Their multi-generational, holiday landscape has evolved through the years.
One significant change they’ve made was the switch from incandescent to energy-efficient LED lights. “That was a major savings on electricity,” Marty acknowledges.
Plans are already underway for changes to next year’s display, he disclosed, “I’m going to add some trees and arches, and more lights with synchronized music.”
The Huntley’s hope is that people who see the display will reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
“I went to Carl Rudd’s farm when I was a kid,” Marty recalls. “There was just something about it that made you feel good, and that’s why we do it, if it makes people happy, it’s worth the effort.”