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Live Oak Street Lights Are A Christmas Delight

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Live Oak Street has become a local must-see during the holidays for about a decade, give or take a couple of years. While not quite as brilliant as the Griswold lawn of National Lampoons fame, the Sulphur Springs Christmas lights do shine as a beacon of goodwill and the continuation of a tradition started about 25 years ago, a light display that spanned acres of field.

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The Millers in front of their lighted Live Oak Street address, Sulphur Springs

The Millers said they want to provide the kind of joy a friend’s parents provided starting 25 years ago on the acreage by the family home for people who would drive out to see the thousands of colorful lights. It took about 4 months for his friend’s family to get everything set up. Lighting the season was and still is a holiday tradition for them.

The Millers moved to Sulphur Springs about 12 years ago and have been continuing that tradition in this community, putting up lights of their own for families to enjoy. The project is a family one, with the couple enlisting help from their grown children at times.

His longtime friend helps out some too. In fact, he pointed to small arches spanning either side of the walkway to the front door, which he said he and the friend constructed and put up. In fact, he and the friend, who has a light display of his own, go back and forth helping each other with their displays, carrying on the tradition the friend’s parents established over two decades ago. When the friends parents passed about 5 years ago, the pair split some of the boxes that control the show, to use in their homes.

The Millers said they usually spend about 2 months checking all the lights and electrical strands, making sure all are ready to go online around sundown Thanksgiving Day. Mr. Miller, sometimes aided by their children, does most of the work on the house and lawn lights, while his wife typically makes sure the trees are properly dressed in numerous strands of colored lights. Initially, the lights were standard Christmas bulbs, which had to be strung and plugged in carefully so as not to overload the electrical system at their home. More recently, he began converting to LED lights, which don’t take as much power or plugs, conserving energy and reducing their electric bill each holiday season.

And the lights aren’t just luminescent displays of Christmas lights. They are set to skip, dance, chance, twinkle, glow and race in time to music, typically 6-9 holiday songs. The yard has strings of color — red, white, yellow, blue and green — chasing each other in tune to festive tunes across the grass, from 13 control boxes discretely hidden throughout the yard. The house is highlighted in red and green area. A wreath, stars and snowflakes adorn the house. The front windows are lined in white twinkle lights. The brick mailbox is wrapped in bands of red and green. The walkway to the front door is lined with candy canes dazzling in flashing red hues. An archway along the driveway on one side of the property is streaked in strings of colored lights that flash in varied tones.

Often, the Millers add something different, or switch up the display annually, to keep it interesting for neighbors or any motorists and visitors who care to stop by and check the lights out. For instance, a big lit wreath may be added above a big picture window, and the green tree of Christmas lights is now much taller than say the one on the right side of their yard. For Christmas, the flag pole near the lit arch drive is converted into the trunk or center base from which the green lights are hung. Not only is it taller, but more lights were added as well.

Rain, fog or brilliant, clear star-filled night, the lights and music are available for people to take in from the comfort of their vehicles. The Millers’ Christmas lights can be seen beginning at 5:30 p.m. daily Thanksgiving Day and continuing through New Year’s Eve. The Live Oak Street lights shine until about 9/10 p.m. on weeknights, and a couple of hours later on weekends. They will shine into the New Year, then be extinguished around 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

And, even better, there is no charge for people to drive over to Live Oak Street and tune in to the designated frequency to enjoy the Christmas music while watching the light show in the late evenings and nights. There is a small locked container on a stand by the driveway. People can make a donation if they want to, but doing so isn’t necessary. The Millers explained that someone made the container for them for them so they felt obligated to put it up. They do appreciate any funds donated, but said what they really look enjoy finding in it are handwritten people took time to scrawl a message on, to tell them about their visit to view the lights. The couple has even had a few people knock at the front door to talk with them about their Christmas lights.

The Millers said they enjoy providing the lights for people to drive by and see, something families can enjoy together. The Millers encourage people to drive over to enjoy the labor or their efforts, and tell their friends. They love seeing people driving by, pausing to enjoy the music in their vehicles as they watch the lights dance merrily across the lawn.

They’d love to see their neighbors get in on the fun, decorating their lawns too. He said he’d be willing to program their lights so that they too blink and shine to the holiday tunes. A few neighbors have put up a few lights, but no nearby yards come close to brightening others’ nights during the Christmas season the way the Millers’ Live Oak Street lights do.

Author: Faith Huffman

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