A dirt road winds up a sloping hillside to the home of Lynda and Jerry Wald three miles east of I-25 on County Road 74. This time of year you can spot their place from afar as it’s swathed in brilliance from 15,000 bulbs that light up a small forest of trees and several reindeer bounding through the sky. “Not many trees out here,” Jerry admits. “Gotta make my own.” Most of the trees are constructed from PVC pipe but once the sky is dark, no one can tell the difference.
Jerry has been lighting up his hillside for close to 12 years and he adds more trees and lights every year. This year be began putting up trees and lights in mid-November. They will come down shortly after the new year. He says that his electric bill goes up between $15 and $20 during the time the lights are on. Instead of leaving them on all night, he waits until Lynda is asleep before turning them off.
She is the “inside Christmas decorator” and the inspiration for the outdoor display. Each night she climbs into bed and enjoys the view of the outdoor lights through her window until she falls asleep.
She’s been an avid lover of all things Christmas for many years. Her home overflows with trees and animated figures that sing, dance and respond to verbal commands. There’s even a Christmas tree in her bathroom gracing her Jacouzzi tub. “We don’t use it much,” she said. It takes her a total of 67 hours to complete her Christmas decorations. She began the work on Halloween weekend.
Jerry worked as a rancher and in construction. Lynda has taught ceramics and currently works part time as a substitute lunch lady in the Poudre School District.
While the Walds are happy to share their decorations with friends, their real joy comes from putting in the labor required to build and set them up and in simply basking the transformation of their house and the land surrounding it in honor of the holiday.