Archive for Thursday, December 12, 2002

Oread neighborhood houses throw down gauntlet for most spectacular Christmas display

December 12, 2002


How far is Nick Reddell willing to go to show his holiday cheer? HeâÂÂll 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.

âÂÂWeâÂÂre going for tacky but tasteful,â he explained.

ReddellâÂÂs sacrifices arenâÂÂt all holiday spirit -- theyâÂÂre 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 âÂÂKU,â âÂÂSeasonâÂÂs Greetingsâ 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 parentsâ holiday stashes.

âÂÂThe theme was to put up as much as we could put up,â said Doozie Martin, a Westwood Hills senior living in the Tennessee house. âÂÂThereâÂÂs a lot of people honking and a lot slowing down to drive by.âÂÂ

Both sides claim victory, though they report experiencing a few jolts of electricity while changing bulbs and arenâÂÂt 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 âÂÂChristmas bushâ 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 wouldnâÂÂt fit in their house.

He wants to make the competition an annual event.

âÂÂHopefully,â he said, âÂÂif we can find some more plug-ins.âÂÂ

Commenting has been disabled for this item.