Check out these Naperville homes’ holiday lights
By Jane Donahue For The Sun December 8, 2012 11:02PM
Jack and Laura Frohn in the midst of the 55,000 lights they put up to create a holiday wonderland in their yard on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 1443 West Briarcliff Road in Bolingbrook. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Here’s The Naperville Sun’s 2012 list of homes to check out this holiday season. While we asked for nominations, the homes are listed in no particular order, except for ease in getting from one to the other. Thank you to the community for showing so much interest in the map this year!
1443 W. Briarcliff in Bolingbrook
326 Sleight St.
1127 Conan Doyle
827 Morven Court
428 and 432 Bayview Ave. (two homes next door to each other)
1326 N. Webster
29w123 Springlake Drive
1347 Hunter Circle
1447 Sugar Creek Court
2113 Dorval Drive
2320 Remington Drive
3111 Wolfe Court
24455 Royal County Down Drive
2612 Wild Timothy Road
347 Columbia St.
1222 Oakton Lane
1408 Justin Court
Compiled by Jane Donahue
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:16AM
Naperville has done it again. In hopes of making this holiday season merry and bright, residents have taken exterior illumination to a whole new level.
“I think the warm fall has encouraged many to decorate,” said Annette Wehrli, of Naperville Trolley & Tours, which hosts holiday lights tours each year. “Be it just a few strings, or going all out and getting Clark Griswold on us, 2012 has brought us some great new homes to enjoy.”
Thanks to readers’ nominations, The Naperville Sun is pleased to feature some of the city’s most festive homes in its 2012 holiday lights map. Neighbors have not only decked the halls but decked just about everything else that can handle a strand of lights.
“There are just over 23,000 lights all together,” said Donald Young, whose corner lot in Tamarack Fairways had many readers buzzing. “It took approximately 72 hours to complete everything. I hired six men, and they needed a cherry picker to reach the tops of the trees.”
It was Young’s first year to use LED lighting and to have a display of this magnitude, but it’s been in the works for years.
“The idea of what you see now became a bucket list item for me to accomplish before the boys grew too old to enjoy it,” Young said. “Now the last thing I see before going to bed are the lights that remind me of how much I have to be thankful for.”
It wasn’t a “bucket list” task for longtime residents Scott and Karen Amundsen. Instead, they were inspired by fellow Napervillians to decorate their home in Ashbury subdivision.
“We enjoy the tradition of driving around on Christmas Eve, looking at other houses with Karen’s parents,” Scott said. “Two years ago, we saw the house on Bayview (Avenue). We were amazed at the lights synched to music, and the ability to sit in your car and listen to the music. Last year, we saw a couple more homes and decided we had to try it ourselves.”
Amundsen said they bought everything for the display right after Christmas, and the family assembled it from March through October.
“There is a tremendous amount of support on the Internet,” he said. “The challenge then becomes designing something unique that incorporates as much of your existing landscape as possible. The motivation to keep going comes from the reaction of those who drive by and watch, especially the kids.”
Instead of a “Ho, ho, ho,” Santa might let out a “Whoa, whoa, whoa” after taking in the many sights and sounds of our town. Whether you opt to drive, ride the trolley or view the homes on foot, one thing is certain. These are worth the trip.
Thank you, Naperville, for providing another holiday to remember.
* * *
Here’s a look at some of the light-seeing in Naperville, not in any order. There are many other homes worthy of a visit, but time and space limitations prevented detailed descriptions of them all. There’s always next year!
24455 Royal County Down Drive in Tamarack Fairways:
One reader compared the Young’s home to Disney World, “the brightest and most colorful display” that is “beautifully and artistically done.” The all LED display of purple, red, blue and green needed the help of a cherry-picker to illuminate every last branch on the almost 1-acre lot. It’s off the beaten path but is sure to make you smile.
3111 Wolfe Court in Ashbury subdivision
The Amundsen family was inspired by Christmas past, and launched their own holiday plan for 2012. Scott Amundsen said the whole family got in on the action, which includes almost 20,000 lights and 144 computer controlled channels. Santa can be seen in the living room window, like you haven’t seen him before. It’s worth a look and a listen.
347 Columbia St.
White lights never shined as bright as they do on this home in downtown Naperville. Simple yet stunning, this blanket of bulbs covers the entire façade of this residence with striking results.
1127 Conan Doyle in Ashbury subdivision
The Thomas family home includes Santa at the North Pole, surrounded by more than 30 animals, a carousel and over 25 decorated Christmas trees of all sizes and colors. There are well over 30,000 lights outside, and guests are encouraged to get out of their cars and take pictures with Santa in the Santa house. Make sure you check out their neighbor’s house for a good chuckle.
1443 W. Briarcliff in Bolingbrook
It’s hard to imagine they could add anything more, but they did. The Frohn home, off Boughton Road just over the Naperville border, is a must-see with more than 55,000 lights on display. Words can’t describe this Christmas extravaganza that would make even Clark Griswold blush.
1447 Sugar Creek Court in Cress Creek subdivision
Readers rave about the Brockman home, which is as sweet as the street name suggests. An abundance of lights, a train village and an interactive panel is sure to delight visitors young and old.
1347 Hunter Circle in Fox Meadow subdivision
The father-son team of John and Jonathan Syers present their “Magical House on Hunter Circle” for the fourth year. Last year, the pair used their display to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, donating $1,000 toward making area kids’ dreams come true.
29w123 Springlake Drive in Shell Lake subdivision
Marc Aguina has added even more to the musical light show at his south Naperville home, that includes a special purple tree in memory of his mother-in-law, Jeri Behrens. Visitors get more than they bargained for when they travel to Shell Lake, as many of the residents there have decorations worth seeing as well. Enjoy the ride.
1326 N. Webster St.
For more than a decade, Mike and Karen Murphy have been spreading holiday cheer with their decorations, so much so that it now spills over into their neighbor’s yard. It’s a labor of love for the couple, who have crafted the wooden characters that adorn the yard. We’ve been told Santa stops by on the weekends when he can to add to the merriment of this Naperville home.
428 and 432 Bayview Ave.
This is like a two-for-one treat. Between the Dammann’s musical display and flying reindeer to the Novak’s blue-and-green extravaganza, Bayview is a must-see. This cul-de-sac not only delights — but inspires — fellow light enthusiasts.
327 Sleight St.
The Hennessy family is at it again with a display that provides a perfect backdrop for holiday photos. Life-size nutcrackers flank this porch in downtown Naperville, and candy canes fence the yard. Santa oversees the cast of characters that include the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. You can’t help but “believe” after a visit to this house.
827 Morven Court
This house screams “Merry Christmas” from every inch of real estate. You can’t help but be in awe when you turn onto Morven Court. The candy cane fence welcomes visitors as do Mickey, Minnie and a host of characters. These homeowners gave true meaning to Annette Wehrli’s “more is more” mantra.
2320 Remington Drive in Farmington subdivision
This bright spot is visible from Naper Boulevard through Farmington Park. The Zavoral family has been lighting up the neighborhood for more than 15 years and it shows.
2113 Dorval Drive in Willowgate subdivision
Luminaries line the perimeter of the McDonough’s home, which shouts “Christmas” from the front, back and side yards. Even the abominable snowman greets visitors who stop by this festive home.
2612 Wild Timothy Road in High Meadow subdivision
Turn on the radio and enjoy the wild display at the Marbach’s south Naperville home. The synchronized musical light display is worth a visit, according to readers.
1222 Oakton Lane
One reader described this home as “stunning,” a shining star in the neighborhood. This house has lighted figures of all shapes and sizes and an abundance of lights. It’s definitely worth driving by when near River Road.
1408 Justin Court in Hobson Meadows
Nestled just off Hobson Road, the home of Gary and Judi Wincek shines. A chair for Santa to sit (when he is able) and a sleigh full of presents joins a manger scene and a cast of angels.
809 Huntleigh in Huntington Estates
Inspired by a New York City department store several years ago, the McCue family home says, “Let it snow” with their enormous lighted (and falling) snowflakes; colored lights that are synced to music round out their home’s décor. A visit to their street includes many homes that are worthy of a look, too.
Sounds of Christmas
Here is some suggested listening for your ride to catch the holiday lights:
“Christmas Is All Around” by Billy Mack
“Sleigh Ride” by Ella Fitzgerald
“The Christmas Song” by Nat “King” Cole
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
“Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/ We Three Kings” by the Barenaked Ladies
with Sarah McLachlan
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by the St. Olaf Choir
“Away in a Manger” by the Canadian Brass
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon
“Christmastime Is Here” (instrumental version) by Vince Guaraldi Trio
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by the Pointer Sisters
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by the Beach Boys
“Faith Noel” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
“I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” by Billie Holiday
“Winter Wonderland” by the Eurythmics
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Mel Torme
“The Bells of St. Mary” by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans
“Here Comes Santa Claus” by Elvis Presley
“Christmas Is” by Lou Rawls
“Santa Baby” by Madonna
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Mannheim Steamroller
“Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi Trio