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Check Out This Norwood Park Family's Synchronized Christmas Light Show

By Heather Cherone | December 11, 2014 5:34am | Updated on December 11, 2014 5:36am
  The third year of Tim Jahn's Christmas light display at his Norwood Park home features new music.
Massive Christmas Light Display
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NORWOOD PARK — When it comes to Christmas lights, Tim Jahn follows the mantra laid down by Clark W. Griswold: More is definitely more.

For the third year in a row, Jahn has transformed his family's Norwood Park home at 6910 W. Farragut Ave. into Christmas central, with approximately 6,000 lights synchronized to classic holiday songs.

"Christmas to me is a magical time," Jahn said. "I couldn't do the winter without Christmas."

Watch the display here (story continues below):

Carol Of The Bells (from Jahn Christmas 2012) from Tim Jahn on Vimeo.

Jahn, a Web developer who also owns two businesses, got help from his 4-year-old son setting up the massive display — one that he hopes will draw people from all over the Northwest Side.

"I figure we've got another 11 years before it begins to bug him," said Jahn, who also has an 8-week-old daughter. "I have so much fun doing it."

Before Jahn, 30, moved to Norwood Park, he set up his massive light display at his parents' house in the northwest suburbs, making this year the ninth time he has spent Thanksgiving weekend shivering while setting up the lights, speakers and more than 1,500 feet of extension cords.

"This year, I set it up over a bunch of weekends, because it wasn't possible to spend all day doing this with the baby," Jahn said.

But unlike Griswold, the character at the center of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" from 1989, whose light displays draw the ire of his neighbors and ends in disaster, Jahn said his lights have drawn the families who live on his block closer together.

Reporter Heather Cherone talks about the enormous Christmas lights display in the neighborhood:

"The neighbors on both sides of us are the nicest people ever," Jahn said, laughing. "They enjoy it — as far as I know, anyway."

Jahn said constructing the display every year appeals to his technical side — and allows him to pretend to be an electrician for a few weeks.

"I love building stuff," Jahn said, adding that online forums devoted to constructing massive Christmas light displays helped him get started.

But despite the huge number of lights, Jahn said his electric bill has never gotten crazy — and he typically spends a couple hundred dollars each year on new equipment.

"We don't really have a budget," Jahn said. "We just want it to look the best that it can."

Jahn's lights, which are on from 6-9 p.m. every night through New Year's Eve, are synchronized with 10 different songs, including songs from "Frozen," "Rent," "Home Alone," "The Polar Express," and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Visitors can hear the music from speakers in Jahn's yard, or by tuning their car radio to 107.1 FM.

"I really hope it becomes a tradition for families out here," Jahn said, adding that he was thrilled to see more traffic this year than last.

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