Holiday Lights Contest Editor's Choice: Northwest suburbs
The Daily Herald Holiday Lights Editor's Choice winner for the Northwest suburbs is Martin Maude, 939 E. Bissell St., Palatine.
Editor's Choice winners each will receive a $50 Ala Carte Entertainment gift card.
The Daily Herald asked Maude about his display.
Q: How long have you been decorating your house like this?
A: We have decorated outside every year. We have gone the full Kriss Kringle level for the last 15 years.
Q: What inspired you take it to this level?
A: I always wanted to decorate the outside of the house for the holidays. Each year I would try to add a little more. My family would help out putting it up and taking it down. The best comment I would get from my kids is they would say a car slowed down and stopped in front of the house. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as we do.
Q: Briefly describe the process of putting up the display.
A: I take pictures of the display from last year and use them as a guide to set up the display for this year. But I also like to change things up. If I see something cool at another house, I try to incorporate it into my layout. It usually takes a week to put up and a few days to take down. If the weather is mild, I try to put it up as soon as possible. It's no fun to put up in icy weather. I usually start at the right side and work my way to the left. The Nativity is the anchor on the left side. It goes up last.
Q: How many total lights and/or displays do you have?
A: For the front yard, 69 blow molds, six inflatables, four metal signs, two wooden signs, five strings of lights, two Santa figures, one Christmas tree. For the backyard, nine blow molds, six oversize ornaments, three inflatables, one deer, one train, one Snoopy doghouse.
Q: How much does your electric bill spike in December?
A: The ComEd bill definitely goes up in December, but we try to keep the bill down. We have everything on timers. Just for a few hours each night. I've been trying to change out the regular lights to LED.
Q: What do your neighbors think of your display?
A: The neighbors seem to enjoy it. I enjoy seeing their houses decorated, too. Everyone seems to add more each year. It's a fun block to drive down at night.