FAIR LAWN, N.J. — If it didn't rain this week, Marc DeSomma's Fair Lawn home would have already been live.
But after the weather cleared up, DeSomma spent the entire afternoon and evening on Thursday plugging in the Christmas lights that have earned his house a dazzling reputation in town.
"It started out just for us," said DeSomma, who for five years has been transforming his Vanore Drive home into a seasonal spectacle for community members to enjoy.
"Then we started seeing all the people come out and really loving it, so it just got bigger and bigger and basically became for everyone.
"We can't not do it anymore."
Every year, he tries to add something new.
This year, he's added a fence — complete with lights — mostly as a safety precaution, added radio music to mix up the Christmas carols and swapped out older lights for new LED lights.
Let's break it down by the numbers:
- 23,000 lights: 3,600 incandescent, the rest are LED.
- 144 channels/electrical outlets.
- 200 passing cars per day
- An extra $50-$100 tacked onto the electric bill
- 1 mile of extension cords
Needless to say, traffic jams aren't unusual on Vanore Drive this time of year. The family has come home to people dancing on their lawn, Marc's wife, Paula Desomma, told Daily Voice.
The couple's daughter, Mia, distributes candy canes to as many visitors as she can, and the house is always the final stop for Fair Lawn's Santa Boone project, which raises money and gifts for a Fair Lawn family in need.
Last year, hundreds of community members, firefighters and police officers gathered at the Vanore House after breast cancer survivor Bearn Vargas' Santa Boone surprise.
The DeSommas are looking for a new house with a bigger yard so they can get even more creative with their display.
Sometimes, getting everything set up seems like a lot of work for Marc.
"But then," he said, "you think about all those times when everyone is here, and it becomes fun again."