The first couple of days after my family left me home alone the week before Christmas, I rejoiced in my new freedoms: eating ice cream for dinner, leaving the bathroom door wide open, testing the limits of my surround sound.
And I also didn’t plug in the lights on the Christmas tree in my living room. Why bother? It’s a waste of energy, and it’s a pain to crawl behind it, anyway.
Then I met the Poleschuk family. Kara and Craig do a lot more than plug in the tree.
This year, they plugged in 143 extension cords, which fire up 24,000 lights on their roof, house and front yard. At 7:30 p.m. every night, the lights flash to a six-song show for the neighbors and passersby.
While I was getting the tour the night of Saturday, Dec. 18, I was about to ask, “How can you use so much power in this economy?” But Craig spoke up first.
“About 75% of the people love it,” Craig says. “The other 25% say, ‘That’s disgusting — you’re using so much power and money in this economy’ — all that crap.” He rolled his eyes, as if to say, “Some people just can’t have fun for the sake of having fun.”
And that’s the spirit of the Poleschuks. They don’t have kids. They’re not trying to get in the newspaper or on TV. They do it because they have fun with it, and they like to see people drive by with smiles on their faces. While I was there, someone drove by and shouted out something like, “Rock on!”
Karay says another neighbor came over the other day to thank them for lighting up the nighborhood.
“That’s why we do it,” Craig adds.
The Poleschuks want to invite everyone to come at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, at 54 Parkview Drive. After the nightly light show, Santa will make an appearance and hand out candy canes.
While I’d love to see the show, fortunately, by then, I’ll be arriving safely in Denver, to join my wife and kids for the holiday.
But until then, I guess I’ll use some of my freedom to enjoy the Christmas spirit. I’ll crawl behind the tree, plug in and bask in the colors of my single strand of lights.
OK, that’s enough electricity for one night. Off they go.
Merry Christmas, everyone.