What do you get when you mix a bit of holiday goodwill and a passion for Christmas decorations?
If you’re Acworth residents Ros and Jeremy Smoot, you get an outdoor display that not only draws folks from all over the county (and beyond) but raises much-needed funds for the Lupus Foundation of Georgia to boot.
“Jeremy’s mom passed away of complications from Lupus,” Ros said. “I grew up in the northeast and a lot of the neighborhoods would take donations for the local fire departments [from people who came to see their Christmas lights]. I thought we could team up with the Lupus Foundation.”
“My mom was a Christmas junky,” Jeremy said. “I still have lights and decorations I bought with her that we use now.”
It was simpatico — like Christmas cookies and milk.
Although outdoor commercial grade lighting company Christmas Designers donates two full pallets of lights each year, the display is built entirely by the Smoot family, including children Miya (8) and Dylan (12), and set to music.
From the main 20-foot Christmas tree and veritable forest of smaller trees, to the abundant scenes, animations and estimated 60,000 lights, the foursome begins work on the spectacular display months in advance with plans to flip the switch on Thanksgiving night each year.
The lights are on every night from Thanksgiving through the New Year, and the crowds keep growing week over week with a truly unbelievable crowd on Christmas Eve.
On Saturdays in December, the family (with some assistance from Santa’s little helpers) lights the fire pit and gives out free hot chocolate to their guests, as cars filled with awestruck children and adults snake down the street and roll slowly past.
The Smoots have found the true reason for the season and discovered a gift that really does keep on giving — to the family, the community and the Lupus Foundation of Georgia.