by Pat Winter
Over the past 18 years, one home on the corner of Albemarle Blvd. and Greenwood Drive has faithfully captured the spirit of Christmas every holiday season with its breath-taking display of lights. From the stained-glass looking nativity scene across the yard to the jolly talking Santa, this home radiates beauty during the holiday season and is a reason to hop on your golf cart after dark to take a closer look at this dazzling display.
This is the home and handiwork of Sally and Jack Blitz who started the tradition of putting up strings of lights for Christmas long before moving to Albemarle Plantation. In Sylvania, Ohio, the 750-home community where the Blitz’s previously lived, the neighbors had a tradition of decorating their homes for the Christmas holiday early, so they were ready to turn the lights on for Thanksgiving Day.
Sally and Jack have continued that tradition here, and by mid-November they have all the strings of lights and displays in place. Sally starts the process in October when she tests thousands of red and green light bulbs to be sure they are all functional. Jack spends about 4 to 5 days working on setting up the displays and then testing the electrical circuits to be sure they can handle the extra wattage.
When building their home nearly 20 years ago, Jack planned ahead to be sure the house would have adequate electrical power to support their Christmas tradition by installing two separate sets of circuit breakers controlled by a timer. Jack estimates his electric bill to cover the weeks during the Christmas season averages about $400, and he likes to joke that he receives a yearly Christmas card from Southwest Airlines thanking him for making his home a navigational beacon for their planes as they fly down the coast!
Our windy weather sometimes causes havoc with their displays as does the rainy weather that can pop the ground faults. Jack has made wooden trees with lights to replace bushes that died from one year to the next. But the Blitz’s have faithfully kept the lights burning brightly for 18 years.
If you happen to run into Jack on the golf course or Sally at the Community Center gym, be sure to thank them for this labor of love, bringing the spirit of joy and wonder to our community’s Christmas season.