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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bright lights herald holiday season for Monett man

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A partial view of Ralph Davis' home at 502 W. Scott St. in Monett shows part of his Christmas lighting display, a holiday tradition that helps recall his parents and joy from past years. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Christmas is Ralph Davis' favorite time of the year.

Decorating his home for the holidays has become a major undertaking with Davis collecting outdoor lighting ideas for the past 20 years. His home at 502 W. Scott, where he has lived since 2007, is a neighborhood standout thanks to his impressive lighting displays.

These days, Davis hires Russ and Debbie Nichols, of Purdy, to set up his lights. Getting ready is a constant effort. Most of Davis' outdoor lights have come from Lowe's over the years. Each year he looks for new display ideas, exploring Silver Dollar City and other major exhibits for ideas.

Davis leaves his outdoor lights on from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. nightly. In the last week before Christmas, he plans to show them until midnight.

"My mother loved Christmas. I always did, too," Davis said.

Christmas also provides a touchstone with his father, a railroad employee for 33 years. Davis has several train displays, including a small lighted Christmas tree sitting on his mantle that has three small trains running in circles around it.

"I try to add something each year," Davis said. "I look for things with lights."

He has a big colored light over his garage door that changes colors and switches patterns by remote control. Davis takes photos of displays he sees to show them to the Nichols to consult for another year. He plans to avoid inflatables, the latest fad in Christmas arrangements, and stick to the more traditional light sets.

Davis is thinking of adding a moving train like one of the displays at the Monett Chamber of Commerce's Festival of Lights.

Davis has his backyard decorated with lights on the fence and every other tree. For next year, he has plans to put lights on his shed and more of the trees.

While living in the state of California, Davis had neighbors who were more extreme in their displays. A physician friend who lived nearby had so many lights that his electric bill in December ran $2,800.

Davis has more modest tastes but plans to light up Christmas this year and into the future.

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