Tinley Park homes go all out with Christmas lighting
I was never one to spend a lot of money or time decorating the outside of my home for Christmas like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but I envy the beauty and happiness decorations bring. This year, a home in Tinley Park, Illinois has won the local WLS TV Great Chicago Light Fight contest and you just have to see it ands the broad smiles it brings to the faces of young and old who see it
By Ray Hanania
Ever since watching the 1989 “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in the hilarious Griswold comedy series, I have been obsessed with Christmas home lighting.
I wondered, why would someone spend so much money and time to decorate they rhome with thousands of Christmas lights. Being a Christian, I know Christmas lights are a major part of the Christmas Holiday celebration, and one way to commemorate our religion. But the work and the expense. It always seemed beyond my own abilities.
Yet nothing is cooler than to drive through communities during the Christmas Season and enjoy the Christmas lights that decorate so many homes.
This year, one of the coolest is the display put together by three families that were honored as the 2019 winners of the Great Chicago Light Fight. The winner, Dominic Kowalczyk whose home was decorated with more than 150,000 lights synced to 25 Christmas songs with a dance floor on their driveway and dozens of themed light scenes at 173rd Street and Avon Avenue in Tinley Park.
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I drove by there with my family Sunday and was not only amazed by the expanse of the decorations but by how many members of the public were driving and walking by to enjoy the Christmas lights. In facts, the Kowalczyk display spans three properties and features a “Christmas light tunnel” over the sidewalk in front of the three homes decorated with 30,000 blinking colored lights.
Nothing was more satisfying than seeing the big smiles on every person young and old who walked the length of the display several times. You could see the glow from he lights lighting up the sky from several; blocks away as you approached the three homes. As many as 30 cars were driving past slowing every 10 minutes, suggesting that thousands of cars drive past the display every hour and every day.
To make it even better, the Kowalczyk family placed several donation boxes to collect funds from visitors for a very special charity that assists with the homelessness: Together We Cope. (Fortunately the Kowalczyk’s live in Tinley Park which is far more sympathetic to the homeless apparently than Mayor Grinch in Orland Park.)
If you didn’t get a chance to see the Christmas display, you really have missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. The joy and happiness. It attracts not only religious and non-religious Christians but many Jews and Muslims, too, who were admiring the beauty of the Christmas holiday spirit of happiness and joy.
The display has to come down by New Year’s Day, so if you didn’t get a chance to drive pass the Kowalczyk home, here are some photos I took that I hope you enjoy.
Great job Kowalczyk’s. Your Christmas home display is one off the best I have ever seen and deserving of being recognized as this year’s winner of the 2019 Great Chicago Light Contest.