Growing Up In A House As Bright As The Griswold’s
Thanksgiving Day meant more in the Glick household than just spending quality time with family. It was more than just a day to watch some football or eat great food.
Thanksgiving was the first day (err night) we would turn on our Christmas lights. I know, it doesn’t sound that cool to have a tradition around turning on our Christmas lights on Thanksgiving. But, we’re not talking about just a few Christmas lights here…
We’re talking about over 20,000 Christmas light.
Lights that ran up-and-down-and-across the roof, up-and-down the side of the house, and all over the yard and trees. We had enough Christmas lights that we had to install a second, dedicated power line in our backyard to power the “crazy” light show.
Lots Of Hard Work
There was always a lot of hard work that led up to each Thanksgiving Day.
We needed to unwind (and oftentimes untangle) countless strands of lights. We needed to test each strand of lights as well. Since this was back in the day when a single bad bulb could cause a strand of lights to not work, we became pretty good at finding bad bulbs.
After figuring out how many strands of lights didn’t work, and figuring out how many new lights we needed for any new yard displays we were going to add, we’d make a trip to the store.
A Little Iowa Farmer Innovation
We had a couple different family friends who were farmers and very smart with mechanics and electronics. They built a device—for my dad—that allowed us to create an illusion of animation.
We had a bunny jumping, a rocket taking off, and even a mannequin shooting a basketball into the basketball hoop. Each step in the animation sequence would plug in to a different power outlet (i.e. Outlet #1: bunny sitting, Outlet #2: bunny starting to jump, Outlet #3: bunny airborne, and Outlet #4: bunny landing). Each of the outlets would get electricity for a moment as a wheel would turn in circles and make contact with each outlet. This would give the illusion of animation, and it was super cool.
All possible because of a couple of innovative Iowa farmers.
Quite The Event
As you can imagine, this was quite the event. It was always enough of an event that we would have cars lined up-and-down both sides of the road slowly driving by to take the display all in.
My dad would even turn it into more of a show by having someone stand out at the curb dressed as Santa Claus handing out candy to each car that drove by.
We also ended up (on multiple occasions) on several news channels in Des Moines showing video of our lights. Take a look below.
So, what do you think? Pretty crazy right?
Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.