The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Diana Zimmerman
Wah. Co. Eagle 

Holiday lighting tradition nearing the end


December 11, 2013

Bruce Holland has been putting up lights and setting out decorations for the Christmas season for as long as he can remember.

As a renter, he could only do a margin of what he does today. When he purchased his home on Morgan Drive 27 years ago, the increased storage space allowed him to expand his vision for the Christmas light display into what it is now. It’s gotten so big, one of his neighbors happily gives up space in his own yard for the show.

Lights line the roof of his home, as does the figure of the cross. There are four 7-foot candy canes and angels and snowmen all around his yard. Santa has his reindeer.

It’s a big job rolling out this display every year. It doesn’t change much, according to Holland, though he has been adding new items every year, finding and purchasing kits that he puts together and paints in his spare time. The newest one simply says “peace.” There are 30 items in all. The only one he didn’t make was the manger scene.

More decorations mean more lights. One year he blew the circuits in his house when he plugged in the lights. He had to hire an electrician to put in a separate box so it wouldn’t happen again.

“It takes me five days to put the whole thing up,” Holland said. “I do all the lights. I hire a guy on the last day to help put up the cross and set out the decorations.”

Holland turned 70 this year and he figures that he has done enough. It’s getting harder to get on the roof, and he needs help with some of the bigger items. The upkeep alone takes a lot of time. He has to make sure the lights are working, and every year he repairs and paints the decorations that need a little tender loving care.

He knows he could hire someone to put it all up for him, but he doesn’t want to do that. There is joy in those bright lights for his friends and family and anyone that might drive by, but it’s evident the real joy comes to him when he is dreaming about his light display, caring for it or putting it up for another Christmas season.

This time when the decorations come down, they will be for sale, along with any other items that might not have made the scene this year. Holland needs to eke out more space in storage. If he’s making room for another project, one can be certain it will be done with the same joy and care he gave to his Christmas light show.


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