Christmas lighting tradition brings joy to community


By Staff Report

Michelle Dobbins has always loved Christmas. She sees it as a time to celebrate Christ and give back to the community.

This year, with the help of her father, she displayed over 34,000 lights around her house, baked 600 cookies and designed 200 gift bags to hand out to children.

With her annual debut just days away, the forecast changed and suddenly rain was projected to interrupt an event Dobbins spent many weeks preparing for. However, just as the unveiling began to start on Dec. 15, the rain began to subside.

“The rain didn’t stop anymore from coming out, and I’ very blessed for that,” Dobbins told a group of families who had stopped by to see the lights and music.

This is her second year hosting a light show at 4380 Shimoda Lane. Her previous eight displays were located on Pine Street.

Ten years ago, Dobbins’ father passed the Christmas light tradition down to her. Without hesitation, she accepted the challenge.

Over 40 years ago, Dobbins’  father started stringing up Christmas lights, mostly for the joy of his children, however, when neighbors started commenting on the decorations and inviting others to come observe, he began to expand his collection of lights.

While many of the fixtures are decades old, Dobbins’ favorite is the nativity scene. It reminds her of what is truly important during the holidays, she said. Dobbins loves seeing the smiles and joy in people who visit her lights display.

This year, her lighting is going green, literally. All pine trees on the property are decorated in green, white and red LED lights. The idea to go green was a combined result of saving money on electricity and making the lighting brighter.

When she moved into her Shimoda Lane home two years ago, she was fortunate to have multiple breakers on the property, three in the house, one in the garage and two in the backyard shed.

“You do have to watch when you go lighting up this large of a display,” Dobbins said referencing her father teaching her about amps and how many strands of lights can run off each electric breaker.

Dobbins noted that hundreds came to her Saturday Christmas lighting on Dec. 15. She is already planning additions for next year.

“This was all in God’s plan … everything comes together to make a wonderful event,” Dobbins said.