Bacon Heights residents take joy in lights

For 31 years, Linda and Rob Winkler have been über-decorating their home for Christmas.

That means not just one Christmas tree, but several inside their home, as well as two Nativity scenes.

It also means Rob has been adding more and more lights to his outside display for more than 30 years. Now it is now a twinkling wonderland of lights and candy canes in the Bacon Heights subdivision.

“One of our goals is to have people slow down,” Linda said of the couple’s outdoor decor.

“The whole selling point is when you’ve got that car that slows down, with the little noses pressed against the glass,” Rob said, adding that at that moment, he gets “just a nice feeling.”

The lights bring a sense of joy to him, Rob said.

“I just enjoy the color and the sense of wonder that it gives kids,” he said of the lights. He said he always tries to include a bit of color in his light displays, believing that color makes the lights seem more three-dimensional.

Although the couple began decorating before their children were born, Rob admits that when the children came along, “We just went crazy.”

Every year, they have added more lights to their display.

Linda said because they have four grown children, her husband is now helping his sons to put up their own holiday displays.

They aren’t as elaborate as their own display, she said, because the sons just haven’t had as much time to build up their lights supply.

“We still invest (in new lights and decorations). In fact, we want to add more trees next year,” she said. Lights also don’t last forever, so they have to replace them periodically, she said.

Rob and Linda looked puzzled when asked if any neighbors mind their display.

Neighbors generally congregate in front of the house when the lights are first up to take in the display, Rob said. Sometimes the couple even has the neighbors over for hot cocoa.

Both Winklers said they are glad to have more neighbors this year, and especially glad that many of them are also starting to add lights to their yards.

The lights are one way the Winkler family celebrates Christmas.

“We’re Christians, so certainly we celebrate the birth of Christ,” he said.

But he said the family also enjoys several family traditions, such as watching holiday-themed movies.

“I always look forward to the time of year that our family is able to connect at an historic level and keep it going into the next generation,” Rob said.

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