Penguin Paradise

“Obnoxious,” Haley Petri laughs, attempting to describe the mass amount of Christmas lights on her house in a single word. We all have that one house we love to drive by during the holidays, wishing our houses were that festive. For the Paddock neighborhood, that house is the Petri’s.

According to Petri, her family begins brainstorming ideas for their light display theme in August. This year was “Penguin Paradise” complete with inflatable penguins and lights in the yard and on the roof. The actual construction of the lights begins in November.

“It usually takes us about 5 to 10 hours to set up just because we need to program things and most of our lights dance to music that we play,” said Petri. But the process is sped up slightly with help received from friends.

“My parents are getting old so my sister and I get a whole bunch of our friends to help out,” said Petri. “Even if they can help out for just an hour that turns an 8-hour project into a 5-hour project.”

The outside of their house isn’t the only part that’s decked out either. According to Petri, every room in the house is festively decorated for the holidays including the bathrooms.

“There’s greenery on every doorframe and we’ve got two trees, one in the front and one in the living room,” said Petri.

Though the Petri’s have busy schedules, Haley is grateful for the lights because she feels that the decorating brings them closer together.

“[The Christmas lights have] been a big part of our bonding because with me I’m in show choir and I’m pretty busy so I never see my parents,” said Petri. “But on the weekends when we do Christmas lights we spend like ten hours with my parents and it’s bonding time. Really it can apply to any holiday if you decorate for anything. It’s just a time to have fun and bond with people.”


story by isabella tyler, photos by reagan fehr and kyndall goodwin


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