One Martinez man takes decking the halls to a whole new level with his annual Christmas light show.
Mike Gilliland, who puts on Magic Mike’s Christmas Light Show every holiday season, says: “It’s fun. It’s fun.”
It may be fun, but for ]Gilliland, this time of year is more of a marathon than a sprint.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said Gilliland about the infamous Christmas light show in front of his Martinez home. “It takes me about a month to set the lights into the yard, maybe a little longer. It’s something we’ve been doing now for I think this is my six year. We started when my grandson was one. As soon as the lights come on, he wants to give everybody a tour of the yard.”
And as impressive as the set up is, the real magic happens after dark.
For many families, driving around the neighborhood and checking out who has the best Christmas lights is a yearly holiday tradition. At Gilliland’s home on Fair Oaks Rd in Martinez, it’s a simple as turning on your radio and enjoying.
“I’ve got like 13 songs, and we’re going to add a few extras this year,” said Gilliland, who knows how many songs are in the show, but surprisingly, isn’t sure how many lights there actually are.
“I have no idea,” said Gilliland. “We just keep adding. I don’t count them. Maybe I should. It would be impressive if I put a big number out there. I don’t even look at the electric bill. No, no, we’re not going to go there because if I do that, I might not do this anymore. Georgia Power is very happy for my light show. They enjoy it. They definitely enjoy it.”
But he knows many people other than Georgia Power enjoy it too.
“We had a thank you card in our mail, thanking for having many, many y ears of enjoying Christmas and decorating the yard,” explained Gilliland. “To me it brings the meaning of Christmas back home. Families can get in the car with the kids. It doesn’t cost anything.”
It’s something Gilliland has fond memories of himself.
“My father would put us all in the car and of course we’d go from house to house and we always want the big light show,” recalled Gilliland. “Now that I’m retired, I can do that. So, I’m kind of going back and reliving my childhood.”
Gilliland is reliving his childhood and passing on a classic holiday tradition to another generation.