The Outer Banks Christmas House

Every time we are in the Outer Banks between Thanksgiving and New Year someone will ask if we’ve been to see the house with all the Christmas lights. “Turn at the Pigman’s BBQ” is the only description we’ve ever received. So tonight, we hopped in the car, made a right at the Pigman’s BBQ on Ocean Acres Drive, then drove until the cars slowed to a crawl and Christmas carols poured in from the open window.

Then we saw this.

Lovingly owned by landscaper Jim Poulos and his wife Ann, the operation of the house’s holiday display is a whole family endeavor. Having been ill-prepared for the wonder appearing before our eyes, we were lucky to have a chance to speak with Jim’s son-in-law. We asked him all sorts of burning questions, and he was kind enough to answer them all. Now that I’m home I can think of several more impertinent things I’d like to ask, but I admit I was distracted by the pretty flashing lights.

Q: How long does it take to set this up?
A: We started in mid-August. The garage takes 30 to 40 days alone.

Q: How much is your electric bill each month?
A: It’s actually not as much as it was! We switched to nearly all LED lights and that helps.

Q: What do the neighbors think?
A: Most of them like Christmas. You’ll notice many put up their own Christmas lights. But really, my father-in-law has been here for 30 years. If you don’t like Christmas, you don’t move to this neighborhood! One lady moved in a few years ago and called the police five times in the first night. The next night she turned around and filed seven more complaints. Finally the police told her, “if you’re calling about the Christmas house again, you can just stop calling. It was there before you were.”

Q: So what will Santa bring you this year?
A: Santa came early this year and dropped off a train set. You see it there by the pond. That was nearly $500 alone. My father-in-law is a landscaper by trade, so next year he’s going to take up the pond and rearrange it. It’s expensive keeping up the house, but the children love it.

Q: This is so much more than we were expecting. Do you get a lot of visitors like us completely in awe?
A: We’re glad we could beat your expectations. It was actually voted best Christmas display by the Today Show in 2005. They never repeated the contest, so we still hold the title!

A. Maze. Ing. We’re probably going to go back tomorrow. And every remaining night of our trip. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos and video. We only had an iPad on us since we were only hoping to capture a picture for our family scrapbook. The best advice I can give you is to come see it for yourself. Just turn at the Pigman’s BBQ.

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