DENVER – Corey “Claus” Christiansen has always loved Christmas. Growing up, his grandfather and his father would both put up the best light displays in their neighborhood, but Christiansen wanted more lights. He always knew that when he grew up, he wanted to do a big light display for the holidays.
Christiansen and his wife lived in an apartment when they were first married, but that didn’t stop him from putting 2,500 lights. Things grew from there and his holiday light display has since turned into a fundraiser for the Autism Society.
“Later on, both of our kids got diagnosed with autism, and I just always thought, ‘is there a way that I can use the Christmas display to bring some more attention to autism? And now, this is the fourth year that we have become a fundraiser for the Autism Society through what we call the 'Spread Light Campaign,'" says Christiansen.
Christiansen starts testing and prepping the lights in September, but by the time November rolls around, he spends all his free time working on the light display.
“It’s gotten so big the last few years that now I have to take a full week of vacation every year. And then I spend ten to 12 hours a day just working on lights,” says Christiansen.
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Though it’s a lot of work, Christiansen loves it. He likes to think of his light display as a gift to his kids and to the community.
“December nights are long and dark, and much of the last two years with this pandemic has also been long and dark. We need community. We need opportunities to be able to come together, to be able to feel a part of something. And hopefully with our display, people feel that in the opportunity to be able to give back to the community,” says Christiansen.
To check out Corey Christiansen's light display head to 4822 S. Picadilly Ct., Aurora, CO 80015.