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TMCNet:  Holiday Lights: Longmont couple decorates home for one more Christmas

[December 13, 2012]

Holiday Lights: Longmont couple decorates home for one more Christmas

LONGMONT, Dec 13, 2012 (Daily Times-Call - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- After two years of elaborate computerized Christmas lights shows, Jolee and Mike Shedd needed a break.

So last year, the couple's home at 1015 Harmon Place in Longmont went completely dark.

"I got letters in the mail. I got little notes saying, 'This is part of our tradition now. We come to your show every year, and we miss it,'" recalled Mike Shedd, who, along with his wife, Jolee, organize the display.

So the Shedds came back for one more show. Because they're looking at moving before next Christmas, the couple said this is likely their swan song.

The Christmas cheer has spread to the rest of the cul-de-sac, where nearly all of the homes are decorated with the Shedds' extra lights. A neighbor, 13-year-old Ernesto Saucedo, said he was surprised by the size of this year's display.

"We didn't expect it to be that big," he said.

Altogether, the Shedd's home is decorated with 10,000 lights and uses 2,200 feet of cable. A big screen with graphics is synchronized to radio station 88.1 FM, and the lights blink along with Trans-Siberian Orchestra music. There are stars, Christmas trees, reindeer and crosses.

It took Mike Shedd four weeks to program this year's show, and two weeks to set it up.

Bins are located at the edge of the display to collect nonperishable food for the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church food bank, and winter clothes, blankets, sleeping bags and hygienic items for HOPE. Both Jolee and Mike volunteer with HOPE, Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement, a Longmont street outreach to help the homeless.

In 2010, the Shedds collected about 800 pounds of food and clothing for the two charities.

The display, which went up the weekend after Thanksgiving, will likely remain until after the New Year.

Ultimately, the Shedds said they opted for one more show because it's fun for the community and helps good causes.

"It's just been my passion," Mike said. "I like for stuff like this." "And I love feeling like I like in Christmas land," Jolee said.

Magdalena Wegrzyn can be reached at 303-684-5274 and

___ (c)2012 the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) Visit the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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