A house you could see from space
Pat and Paula Green have been married for 33 years, with Pat always calling the farm home and Paula moving in after their marriage. For two decades, the Greens have been hard at work, transforming their front yard, home and barn into a place fit for Santa Claus himself.
These decorations are important to the Greens, but they’re no amateurs, with the light count more than 25,000, including figurines of course.
“It just started out with a couple strands,” Paula Green said. “Then it grew from there.”
Pat Green admits that his responsibility is really only making sure the wonderland has lights going to it, but Paula does a lot of the leg work.
“She’s the one who does 99 percent of it,” Pat Green said. “She puts up all of the lights and tests them and fixes them.”
Their son Nate helps by putting lights on their home, something Paula says she doesn’t want to do anymore.
The process of setting up the light show begins the day after Halloween, with Paula Green having to sort through each and every light on each and every strand.
“Her goal is to turn them on Thanksgiving night,” Pat Green said.
From there the lights will be on display, from dark until midnight, until Jan. 7.
Paula Green said it usually takes her three weeks to have the whole operation fully functional, including time to repair burned out or broken lights, as well as a full day of just running extension cords.
Aside from the hours they’ve invested into the project, the Green’s spend around $500 to $600 on their electric bill each month, but Pat Green doesn’t fret the extra expense.
“We have a dairy farm so we’ve got a thousand dollar light bill, so it’s not the end of the world,” Pat Green said. “We go from drying corn to Christmas lights in the winter. Our bill has a bit of a spike in the fall anyways.”
Paula said she wakes up early to help with farm duties, then works on the house, usually for eight hours each day.
Between the work and expense, the Greens wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. They receive Christmas cards, cookies, compliments and most importantly, the look on a child’s face when they first see the display.
“I made the comment to my sister one day that I was going to back off and not do the lights, but she said ‘you’ve got grandkids now, you’ve got to do it for your grandkids now,’” Paula Green said.
The Greens also decorate their home for holidays like Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween but nothing even close to this extensive.
One of the Greens’ favorite decorations is a 20-foot snowman from Menards. When they saw it in the store, Paula Green said “We have to have it.”
Unfortunately, the snowman didn’t last long. Between a distracted driver getting into a small car accident and the wind punishing the colossal blow up display, it only stood outside for a couple years.
The Greens don’t look to slow down their holiday cheer anytime soon, with Paula Green always looking to expand.
“Oh, I could add a whole bunch more,” Paula said.