LEXINGTON, SC (WACH)- One of the highlights of the Christmas season is riding around and looking at the numerous light displays, made famous by Chevy Chase in the 1989 classic film, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
While Clark Griswold's efforts may have been a futile attempt for most of the movie, there are those who know how to get it right. To find out how it's done, WACH Fox News checked in with an exterior lumination expert in Lexington.
Jerry Hite's house sounds more like Williams-Brice stadium in September than a quiet home in Lexington. But what does it take to build it? That's a question Hite hears often as he works to build a display in his yard.
"They really don't have any idea just what it takes to set it up," said Hite.
The Lexington man doesn't take it easy on the weekends in November. Hite spends most of his spare time working on his famous light display. It looks like a lot of work, but he enjoys the putting in the time, especially for a good cause.
"It's kind of fun and relaxing. It's a labor of love," said Hite. "This is the third year, and I've taken donations for Make-A-Wish (Foundation) all three years, but our goal is to reach the $5000 mark. To make a wish come true"
Jerry's labor of love even attracts some free labor. Jerry's nephew is an illumination expert in training. And that means literally working his way up the pole from the bottom.
"What's your job?" I asked Jerry's nephew. "To untangle the lights," he said.
And even after the lights are in place, there's still the matter of making them sing.
"Programming (the music) is the tricky part," said Hite.
For Jerry that means building a sophisticated control panel. There's one for each song in the display. Eleven in all.
The finished product set Hite back about $7,500, and that's not counting the electric bill.
"I went from 5,800 lights the first year to 40,000 the next year, and my power bill went up only $7 or $8 bucks."
But don't expect Jerry Hite to cut back anytime soon. "Our biggest joy is when we do the money and we find out people are donating to Make-a-Wish Foundation. That is our biggest joy out of the whole thing."
Hite's display is located on Dupre Mill Road in Lexington.
All donations go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.