How far is Nick Reddell willing to go to show his holiday cheer? HeÃ¢ÂÂll wash his clothes during the day and sit in the dark at night.
After sundown -- when he switches on thousands of Christmas lights -- running indoor lights or appliances blows breakers at his house at 939 Ind.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre going for tacky but tasteful,Ã¢ÂÂ he explained.
ReddellÃ¢ÂÂs sacrifices arenÃ¢ÂÂt all holiday spirit -- theyÃ¢ÂÂre part competitive spirit. He and his 12 roommates challenged five friends living at 1238 Tenn. to a duel to construct the more gaudy holiday display.
Residents of both houses -- all KU students -- have turned their houses into glowing meccas of holiday glee.
The Indiana team relied more heavily on several inflatable figures, including an 8-foot-tall snowman. They also have a lighted reindeer on their roof.
The Tennessee students have Ã¢ÂÂKU,Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂSeasonÃ¢ÂÂs GreetingsÃ¢ÂÂ and a peace sign in lights, along with a plastic Santa Claus on their roof.
The students shelled out hundreds of dollars for their displays. The Indiana residents estimated their bill at $700. The Tennessee group figured they spent only $200 because they raided their parentsÃ¢ÂÂ holiday stashes.
Ã¢ÂÂThe theme was to put up as much as we could put up,Ã¢ÂÂ said Doozie Martin, a Westwood Hills senior living in the Tennessee house. Ã¢ÂÂThereÃ¢ÂÂs a lot of people honking and a lot slowing down to drive by.Ã¢ÂÂ
Both sides claim victory, though they report experiencing a few jolts of electricity while changing bulbs and arenÃ¢ÂÂt looking forward to receiving their energy bills next month.
Even if Reddell, a Prairie Village senior, and his roommates are sitting in the dark, they can enjoy the decorated Ã¢ÂÂChristmas bushÃ¢ÂÂ sitting in the corner of their living room. It started out as a 15-foot-tall live tree, but they hacked it down to a 7-foot-tall ball of pine when they realized it wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt fit in their house.
He wants to make the competition an annual event.
Ã¢ÂÂHopefully,Ã¢ÂÂ he said, Ã¢ÂÂif we can find some more plug-ins.Ã¢ÂÂ