If Christmas lights were a competition, Kirkland’s Anthony Mish would win hands down.
Mish’s home looks like something right out of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” with around 150,000 lights topped by a 34 feet long, 14 feet tall, handmade Seahawks logo.
“When I was little, I loved going around and seeing all the lights,” Mish says. “As I got older, I just kept doing more and more.”
Mish took a month off work as a general contractor to dedicate himself full time to decking out the house at 11217 N.E. 100th St. He estimates he’s put in about 200 hours to string all the lights, starting just after Halloween.
His parents and some friends lent a helping hand, but it’s mostly his doing.
Along with the massive light show outside, he’s decorated the inside with a train, waterfalls, Christmas Villages, and a snow cave for children.
He’s never tallied up the total cost, but figures he’s spent “tens of thousands of dollars.” Surprisingly, all the lights only double his electric bill. He says it’s worth every cent.
“It’s cool to see the reaction of all the kids when they come to see it,” he says.
It’s become a popular holiday destination since he started opening his home to the public about three years ago. He estimates about 20,000 will come by throughout the holidays.
He doesn’t charge, but he does collect canned food, toys, and other donations for charities including Toys For Tots.
Mish’s house has received a little notice in past years, including an appearance on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. But this year he’s getting unprecedented attention, including national TV and a write up in Sports Illustrated that sparked a wave of attention the last couple of days.
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 8, 2014
“It’s been a little crazy,” he says. “USA Today wants me to make a video for them.”
It’s not just the Seahawks that get the light love. Anthony built huge displays with logos of the Mariners, Sonics, and UW Huskies.
As for the neighbors, most love the lights.
“A guy who works for me lives right across the street, so he has to,” laughs Mish.
In all the years, he says just one neighbor down the street who goes to sleep early has asked him to shut it down early.
Mish says he plans to keep the lights up until the Super Bowl, which he hopes will feature his beloved Seahawks. Then comes the hard part of his passion – taking them all down.
“Yeah,” he admits, “it’s a pain in the butt.”