Contra Costa Times, December 13th 2007
WINTER WONDERLAND: Simon and Yanira Puttick have a light and decoration display that dazzles...
Holiday lights, decorations grab center stage in Dublin
Article Last Updated: 12/13/2007 09:40:33 AM PST
And then there are people like the Putticks of Dublin.
Simon and Yanira Puttick spend six days gathering the multiple elements of their annual Christmas display — the handmade paintings, the carousel, the lighted reindeer and, of course, the many many lights — from the deep storage of their home and setting up a winter wonderland in their front yard.
Through gleeful grins the couple agree that their display is a magnet for neighbors, many of whom say it's not Christmas until the Putticks have done their thing.
The Putticks are just one of dozens and dozens of families on the Web site, http://www.lightsofthevalley.com, who proudly go all out decorating their homes and are not shy to let everyone know.
It is a community of folks, led by Web master Alex Dourov, who share a common interest — making the holidays bright, really bright.
"The guys who really do this sort of know each other," Puttick says.
Since 1999, Dourov has been compiling an extensive list of homes with owners who show Christmas spirit in amperes. Puttick's home is one of those celebrated on the site. Simon Puttick links his own Web site to his Lights of the Valley page. On Puttick's page, visitors learn exactly how many lights are used for the display this year, how much rope and plywood, and how many power circuits are dedicated to the showing.
Puttick and his wife have decorated their home with a wildly detailed Christmas display for about seven years. They make it into a winter wonderland for their two children and the children and adults who come by every year to admire it.
You can tell they enjoy it, too.
Yanira Puttick says all the work is worth it when she gets to see her husband in what she calls the "Chevy Chase moment" — the instant he turns on the lights for the first time, usually the first week of December.
"This gives me satisfaction and happiness," she says as she installs a new, environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent bulb into the back of a wise man at the display's nativity scene. "All the children coming and looking at our display, that's the most rewarding part."
Each year's display is different as he and Yanira add to it by collecting Christmas decorations from garage sales and other bargain-basement spots. They also make some of the elements, including a carousel, themselves.
This year, Simon Puttick says, the family is minimizing its roughly 45 amps of power pull by using more LED lights and compact fluorescents.
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.