23 Aug 2014
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Decorating is Family Tradition, Finalist Says

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Decorating is Family Tradition, Finalist Says Decorating is Family Tradition, Finalist Says Decorating is Family Tradition, Finalist Says Decorating is Family Tradition, Finalist Says

When Tara Carroll-Darcy was house shopping with her husband, they kept their passion for holiday decorating in mind.

"When we looked at houses, we had decorating criteria. My husband would say, 'That window's not big enough to decorate,' or 'The front lawn isn't big enough,'" Carroll-Darcy said.

The family finally decided fives years ago on their Aberdeen Township home at 25 Waverly Place, with two large bay windows on the first floor and a large front lawn - perfect for spreading holiday cheer.

For Christmas, the lawn is covered with everything from a life-sized Santa in his sleigh and mini-Santa seesawing with his reindeer to a gingerbread family, a nativity scene and a large, light-up sign that reads, "Merry Christmas."

Their decorations are not only seen (from about a mile away) but also heard. Carroll-Darcy said they play instrumental Christmas music at night.

Small toy soldiers, stuffed animals and other Christmas items peak out of the house's windows, hinting at the winter wonderland inside.

"We even have five Christmas trees inside. As you can see, it's not a mansion, so every way you turn there's a tree," Carroll-Darcy said.

Carroll-Darcy knows that some people might think her love of decorating is crazy, but it is a family tradition that began when she was growing up in Brooklyn.

"I'm glad my husband got on board with the decorating," she said with a laugh. "We used to do more holidays."

Halloween was their second biggest holiday decorating endeavor, but between finding storage in their attic and shed and paying the electric bill, the couple decided to choose their favorite holiday to go all out for, and scale back on the other ones.

The lights do more than amaze passers-by, they bring the windy, Strathmore road a sense of community.

"Four years ago, my neighbor came over and said we should have a party in the driveway with all of these lights. And I thought, well I'm not going to have everyone stand in my driveway, so now I have all my neighbors over between Christmas and New Year's for a party," she said.

Normally, all the Santas, reindeers, toy soldiers and blinking lights are packed away until next year by now. However, since the Carroll-Darcy home is one of twenty-four finalists from across the country to be selected , she decided to let them twinkle a little longer.

Click here to vote for the Carroll-Darcy home.

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