Christmas lights are a holiday tradition at many homes, but there are people who take it to extremes. You might say they are addicts. Some of those behind the elaborate displays in Western Washington have formed a group to share ideas.
They joke that their beloved hobby is more like an addiction and call their group Christmas Light Addiction Problem (CLAP). Mark Zembruski started CLAP several years ago to share ideas he learned from his over-the-top celebration in Woodinville.
Although they call CLAP a “support group” Zembruski admits nobody is trying to stop the addiction, instead they enable each other.
“What to do, how to do; we teach about electronics, the latest techniques in decorating” Zembruski explained.
Some people travel from out of state just for a CLAP meeting. Jim Winder puts up displays in Maple Valley and West Seattle and says every year he plans to scale back but doesn’t.
“We feed off each other and make it worse for each other and the displays just get bigger and better and brighter," he said.
While bigger might be better, these guys say the real addiction comes from the feeling of bringing happiness to others.
“You get to see the wonderment in the kids’ eyes and the joy that the parents bring and the laughter and the smiles,” Zembruski said.