This Las Vegas family turns their house into a high-tech holiday wonderland — VIDEO

At Home Light Street and Shining Light Avenue in southwest Las Vegas, one house shines brighter than the rest. From the apex of the roof to the sidewalk, thousands of lights flash in time to “Frozen’s” “Let It Go.” As the song crescendos, a line of blue light shoots from the hand of an Elsa cutout on the roof and flies across the street, where a tree suddenly sparkles and flashes. Artificial snow flutters down on their driveway.

The passers-by who stop their cars for a look are watching the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of work.


 

Many residents across the Las Vegas Valley decorate their homes with lights, inflatable figures and other glowing accessories for Christmas. A subset of those take their displays a few steps further: with music and thousands of programmed lights, they put on a show.

From the moment Jeff and Karol Doody took their Christmas display down last year, they began to conceptualize and build their 2016 display. This is their fifth year putting on a Christmas lights show at their home, and it’s by far the most elaborate and ambitious one they’ve attempted, the Doodys say.

They conducted a survey on their website, christmasinvegas.weebly.com, to find out which songs and features viewers wanted this year. The website also gives viewers instructions on how to access their neighborhood and tune their car radios to hear the music.

The couple constructed wooden latticework to hold rows and rows of bulbs in place, and programmed those bulbs to flash in time with the music. They assembled the entire production, including mounting a snow machine on their roof and attaching a massive reservoir of snow fluid. Then, they frantically troubleshooted a few technical difficulties to ensure the production looked just right.


 

From the time the show debuted on Nov. 30 through the first week of January, they can relax a little. The 15-minute show plays on repeat from 5 to 11 p.m. every day. Though the display does require occasional upkeep — swapping out dead lights and refilling the snow machine — for the most part, this is their time to enjoy their handiwork and the handiwork of others in Las Vegas and across the country when they take their annual Christmas vacation with their 4-year-old son, Elijah. This year, they’ll take a road trip through Oklahoma and Texas to see the most prominent Christmas lights displays and attend a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert.

“There’s nothing that I’d rather do, period, than go see shows … shows like what we have,” Jeff Doody says.

“You’ve got three hours a night, in one month, that you can actually see shows, and that’s what I want to spend every minute that we have doing.”

HOME LIGHTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Buying their house in 2009 was a big deal for Jeff and Karol because it meant they could start amassing their own holiday collection. Neither grew up celebrating Christmas as much as they would have liked to, which, Jeff says, is part of the reason they celebrate it so monumentally now.

Karol grew up in foster care in Minnesota, and rushing to open gifts from Santa wasn’t part of her Christmas morning. “We had the one Christmas tree and that was about it,” Karol says.

Nonetheless, it was always a special time for both of them, something they realized when they began dating in 2006.

“I think, growing up, that was where things were the most normal, where you really felt like everything was OK,” Karol says.

When they first put on a show in 2011, they used “Mr. Christmas,” a preprogrammed kit available at home improvement stores that flashes lights along to preselected music.

“That just wasn’t enough,” Jeff says.

Their hobby — or what some might call obsession — really took hold after they saw an elaborate light show at a Henderson home that same year. Then, in 2012, they began programming their own shows. Each year since, the Doodys have added new features to their display, consulting Facebook groups and other locals when they hit roadblocks, and scouring post-Christmas sales for new supplies.

Though it isn’t a lot, Jeff says, the family puts nearly all of their disposable income toward the annual Christmas light show. Throughout the year, it also takes most of Jeff’s free time. Then, in the fall, he takes time off from his job at Margaritaville in the Flamingo to complete the project, often working 12-hour days.

Some years the couple has been able to take a break from their Christmas project, but not this year. “We added so much new stuff that we knew there was no time to take a break. So we got right to it,” Jeff says.

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

What makes the time and money worth it? That’s something Jeff Doody has put some thought into during the past two years. “I think, number one, overall, it’s something to look forward to. And I think everybody needs that, a goal, something to achieve, something to be striving for in life other than just going to work every day,” he says.

Their 4-year-old son Eli recognizes what a big production his family’s Christmas light show is, because his parents have less time to play with him. Jeff hopes he takes from that the value of hard work and the rewards it can reap.

But they also want him to remember those feelings of goodwill and cheer and, ultimately, magic that they didn’t necessarily feel during their own childhoods.

“The magic of Christmas, and the special feeling that you get,” Karol says, “I think we really do want him to experience that and to have that as he grows up.”

Read more from Sarah Corsa at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at scorsa@reviewjournal.com and follow @sarahcorsa on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like