EXETER TWP., Pa. – As many spend time prepping for turkey and all the trimmings, Jeff Houck and his sons, Randy and Bradley, on West 33rd Street in Exeter Township have their minds on wreaths and long rows of glowing lights.
"We just put a new wreath up today, and that has 400 lights on that wreath," Houck said.
This isn't one of those Christmas-light competition stories, although Jeff might want it to be.
"I tell them, 'Hey, why don't you put stuff up and we can compete,' and they said, 'You've put enough up for everybody.'"
He has such a large display, going on a dozen-odd years, he can't even keep them in his basement or attic.
"I rent a storage unit to put everything in because I don't have room for it," Jeff said.
The Santa sits atop a fake chimney that stays up year-round, but Jeff said his approach isn't campy, but classic.
"I just have the old standard lights, and I don't have any blow-ups," Jeff said. "I like all the hard plastic and the lighted stuff like that."
As Jeff and his sons put the finishing touches on this year's holiday display, that's where he said it started for him, decorating with his father.
"My dad always did it, and when I moved out to this house, I just started doing it," Jeff said.
In addition to the passion for decorating, the Christmas conflict got passed down, too.
"He loved putting the lights out, and he'd be yelling at me for not doing it the way he wanted it," Jeff recalled, smiling. "Just like me and my kids."
So, like the decades-old plastic Santa handed down from his dad that now sits on the sidewalk, Jeff is hoping his drive to be the best on the block is passed on, too.
"When I'm gone, I hope they keep doing this," Jeff said.