Annual family tradition gets bigger
McGregor, TX — Putting up Christmas lights is a tradition for many central Texans, but for one family in McGregor it’s become an obsession that has practically made their house a tourstist attraction.
Their annual front-yard decoration brings in thousands from across the state each holiday season.
Roger Schmidt is a normal guy for the first ten months of the year, but as the holiday season approaches, the successful businessman and helicopter pilot begins to morph into a crazed homeowner.
“We start unpacking everything in late September. I mean, you have to. It takes a lot to organize it all,” said Schmidt.
Every year, Roger, his wife Lana, and their two daughters, Michelle and Ashley, go all out decorating their house and front yard for Christmas.
“First of all, my family loves Christmas,” said Schmidt. It is THE holiday. It’s a Christian holiday and I’m not sure lights are a tribute to our lord Jesus, but I doubt he minds at all.”
You can tell there’s a large-scale operation at hand during the day. But when the sun sets, it all comes to life.
And if you build it, they will come.
“We had well over 3,000 cars come through here last December,” said Schmidt.
“We’ve probably got 50 blowup decorations, close to another 100 still figures- from glow molds to standing figurines. We also decorate 40 trees from top to bottom,” explains a proud Schmidt. We could sit out here and play poker or read a book. It’s that bright.”
With help from Michelle, Roger has strung nearly 80,000 lights with over two miles of extension cord in between.
The newest addition is Santa taking off from a runway in a prop plane.
And it’s not just the kids who are awe struck.
“You’d be surprised by the parents that come. You’ll have some big football stud come by. He’ll stop and say, 'Thank you for doing this. This is just awesome.' And for me, that’s what it’s all about,” said Schmidt.
The Schmidts live just across from the McGregor Executive Airport on Highway 84. You can't miss it.
The family will accept cash donations, but every penny of it goes to the Fuzzy Friends Animal Rescue.