Take a drive 20 minutes down the road from Elon into Graham, and you’ll find one family who spends all year getting ready for Christmas — no, not Mr. and Ms. Claus. The McMasters at 750 North Marye Drive are holding their annual Christmas light show.
“It’s a hobby,” said homeowner Randy McMasters. “Some people play golf, mine is doing the light show.”
Randy first asked his wife, Karen, about turning their house into a Christmas light show seven years ago, when he was inspired by a YouTube video.
“The song was 'Amazing Grace,' and the guy had a sequence of snowflakes that went from the top of the house to the bottom,” McMasters said.
“Oh, I loved it. I was all for it,” Karen said. “We've always loved decorations and lights and it seemed like it just grew and grew.”
The show has grown so much that Randy lost count of how many lights there are. He and his wife start getting ready in January by purchasing new lights and decorations. They spend the fall leading up to the holiday month making some of their own decorations in the upstairs office of their house, painting and watching Christmas movies. Christmas is their favorite holiday, so they don’t mind preparing for it year-round.
“Especially my dad always liked lights,” Karen said. “We always went out on Christmas Eve, out on the road and looked at lights. Growing up, and even as an adult we would go before we'd even open presents.”
But the light spectacular is more than just a display of holiday cheer. At the front of the McMasters’ driveway sits a box entitled “Donations for Hospice.” After Karen’s mom received care in hospice, they set up a donation box outside their house, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars over their seven years running the light show. Last year they raised nearly four thousand dollars.
“That's been great to see what people give, you know, just because they're here and enjoying the lights,” Karen said.
Karen and Randy hope the light show will give others going through challenges hope.
“If they're having a tough time this year, that it will lift them up somewhat and make the rest of this year,” Karen said.
The light show starts at 5:30 p.m. every night through Christmas day.