The Richards family of Canberra in Australia once held the record for the most lights on a home — a world record of more than 331,000 lights.
That record fell last year to a family located in LaGrangeville, New York, who put up more than 346,000 lights.
The Richard’s knew they could do better. Much better. After all, light hanging season is summer in Australia and they were motivated by charity — SIDS & Kids ACT — supported by their Christmas lighting efforts. This year they shattered the record by putting up more than 502,000 lights.
“The charity is very close to our heart. We lost a child and SIDS looked after us many years ago,” he said.
Setting up the lights takes enormous effort and time but Mr Richards had a lot of help this time from family and friends, and when the power comes on and the tent-like streams of lights under a massive tree are revealed it is spectacular.
“I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess.”
But SIDS and Kids is the main reason he does the time-consuming task, to raise money for the work they do.
“It was very important for us,” he said.
“Anyone who has been through that sort of loss will probably tell you the worst thing that can happen to you is losing a young child.”
In years past they raised nearly $80,000 for the charity. This year they are hoping to top $100,000.
“Lights, Camera, Christmas!” is a new competition series in which 16 families from across America will decorate their homes to the extreme for Christmas – in ways that would certainly make even Clark Griswold envious – for a $50,000 Grand Prize. The series will air this December on ABC.
In the first nationwide Christmas lights competition of its kind for television, four families will compete each week to transform their homes for the holidays in just 21 days. These 16 families were chosen through an extensive nationwide search, based on their previous elaborate Christmas light displays, incredible choreography and over-the-top designs. The four finalists will be flown to a surprise finale city to compete for the $50,000 Grand Prize.
“LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS!” comes from FremantleMedia North America (“American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent”). Brady Connell and Max Swedlow (both “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) are Executive Producers for the series. Executive Producers for FremantleMedia North America are Thom Beers and Jennifer Mullin.
In 1973, Hallmark introduced six glass ball ornaments and 12 yarn figures as the first collection of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. A new tradition of Christmas decorating was started and a new collectible industry was born. Now, 40 years and more than 8,000 designs later, Keepsake Ornaments prepares to unveil the 2013 line and has planned activities and offers to help celebrate this milestone.
“Keepsake Ornaments help preserve memories, commemorate milestones, start new traditions and nurture relationships, all of which have attributed to the success and longevity of the past 40 years,” said Jamie Lockard, retail merchandise director for Keepsake Ornaments. “We’re excited to spend 2013 reflecting on the history of Keepsake Ornaments and looking ahead to the exciting things we have in store.”
More than 180 new Keepsake Ornaments will be unveiled during the annual Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere beginning Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide. The annual event gives consumers a first chance to purchase Keepsake Ornaments from the all-new 2013 line. Consumers can preserve a special memory when they buy the latest addition to their favorite series, snag that first ornament in one of six brand-new series debuting, or find a special ornament that helps commemorate a loved one or milestone.
“For months fans have been eyeing the 2013 collection in their Dream Books and online at Hallmark.com and have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see the new Keepsake Ornaments in person and purchase their favorites,” said Lockard. “We’re thrilled to unveil this special line to our fans and to those who are looking for meaningful gifts this holiday season.”
At Ornament Premiere, consumers will be able to find limited-quantity ornaments and special offers, register to win a special-edition ornament, and other surprises including a 40th Anniversary “Seek & Find” game in store. Plus, at Ornament Premiere, local Hallmark Gold Crown stores will have exciting news to share about how to enter THE WIZARD OF OZ™ 75th Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to L.A. for four to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of THE WIZARD OF OZ™.
Hallmark Channel will also help commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Keepsake Ornaments during its “Christmas Keepsake Week.” Hallmark Channel is soliciting photos and stories from consumers about their favorite Keepsake Ornament. The winners will be randomly selected and announced during the popular summer-time holiday movie extravaganza on the Hallmark Channel starting July 12.
Christmas Night Inc., global retailer of nativity scenes and Christmas displays, announced the debut of their 12-foot Christmas Nutcracker King display. As their largest product to date, this decoration is sure to make a huge impression this holiday season.
Made of the most durable, chip resistant fiberglass construction typically used for manufacturing boats, this breathtaking 12-foot Nutcracker is ideal for large spaces including estate houses, bank halls and hotel lobbies. Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, these Nutcrackers are painted in sunlight resistant paint and built to last for years to come.
“Our Nutcrackers are exclusively designed, fully detailed, colorful, expressive, and very beautiful,” said Claire Henderson, co-owner of Christmas Night Inc. “Manufactured in the Philippines, the 12-foot Nutcrackers are then shipped by ocean container to our warehouse in New York.”
Christmas Night Inc. anticipates that large retailers, shopping malls and cities will use the 12-foot Nutcracker for their Christmas displays. However, these Nutcrackers are suitable for both commercial and residential use.
This massive 12-foot Nutcracker King is now available for purchase online at http://www.christmasnightinc.com/c123/Huge-Nutcracker-King-12-ft-H-p1689.html, or by calling 1-888-900-2070.
- A color wheel to select any of 16 million possible colors;
- Built-in patterns for the team colors of sports team in Australia or the USA;
- Lifelike animation creating a string of ‘candles’ that flicker safely;
- Lights that track Santa’s approach and warn children when to head to bed!
Holiday lights have always been beautiful and enchanting, but they have never before been connected, intelligent, interactive or responsive. Holiday by MooresCloud is a world’s first. It’s the way all Christmas lights should work.
With the launch of Holiday by MooresCloud in May 2013, MooresCloud brings their advanced technology to Christmas lights, creating the world’s first interactive and intelligent holiday lighting.
Holiday by MooresCloud brings magic into every celebration. With millions of colors, countless patterns and incredible animations, Holiday adds a glow that makes any event feel special. Simple to use with fifty LED globes on a seven meter string, and individually controlled by MooresCloud’s beautifully designed and easy-to-use apps. Use a smartphone, tablet or web browser – it’s so much fun, everyone will want to play with Holiday!
Holiday comes with dozens of apps to delight and entertain the whole family. With more apps coming from MooresCloud, Holiday will grow more capable and more magical the longer you own it.
Holiday by MooresCloud will retail for $199 with a special introductory price of $129 – order at holiday.moorescloud.com.