2010 Brighton Holiday Lights Guide (with map)

By Kevin Denke
Posted 12/15/10

     BRIGHTON - David Nigro likes to get a jump on his yearly Christmas light display.

     How much of a jump?

     That's …

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2010 Brighton Holiday Lights Guide (with map)


     BRIGHTON - David Nigro likes to get a jump on his yearly Christmas light display.
     How much of a jump?
     That's up for debate between he and wife, Michelle.
    “It starts in October,” Michelle says.
    “It doesn’t start in October,” David protests.
    “Honey,” Michelle continues, “there was one year where we had really warm weather in October and he was up on the roof on Halloween, hanging up the lights.”
    David allows for a “guilty as charged” sort of chuckle. But in his defense, Michelle adds that he doesn’t actually flip the switch  until Thanksgiving night.

    There may be some playful dispute as to when David dusts off the ladder and begins working on the lights on the family’s Peach Court home in Brighton. But there is no argument that David truly loves Christmas lights.
    “All the way back since I was a little kid. I still have the very first string (of lights) my father gave me,” he says. “When my mom and dad got divorced, everything my dad left there was mine, I figured. I still have the original string.
    “I should show that to you,” he says as his eyes – pun fully
 intended – light up.
    And, with that, he disappears into the garage to find those same lights tucked away in a tall, rectangular box.
    “These things have got to be …” David pauses, pondering how old the lights may be as he unspools the line of large, still working bulbs, “I was 5 years old.
    “They don’t make this color any more,” he adds as he holds up one frosted, peach-colored bulb. “So that’s a collector’s edition.”
    David, who grew up in Arvada, first hung the lights in his bedroom. One year, his mom let him hang them in the front window of their home. It’s when David discovered the spark for Christmas decorating. It’s also when a flippant comment from an adult convinced David that, if he was going to hang lights, he’d better do it right.
    “I remember one guy looked at me and – it hurt my feelings – he said, “Were you drunk when you put those up?” David remembers.
    And ever since, when David goes to hang lights – be it October or November – he knows exactly what he wants to do.
    “I don’t plan it,” he insists. “I just write it down. I write down this section, then I write down this section, then I write down that little section. So when I put it up, it’s easy.”
    It includes a perfect outline of large bulb lights around the roof of the two-story home.
    “You’ll notice that there’s not one light crooked,” Michelle says. “Every light has to be perfectly straight. It can’t be crooked.”
    David loosens his standards a bit for the blinking, dangling snowflake lights.
    “The ones hanging down I don’t care about as much,” he says. “The roof lights? Yes.”
    David is such the lighting aficionado that he made sure the home where they have lived for eight years was designed with extra outside electrical outlets for the timers. The lights come on at dusk and are off around 10:30 p.m.
    David, who helped a brother-in-law decorate his home this year, isn’t afraid to sacrifice his body for the sake of holiday beauty. It reminds Michelle of the hapless Clark Griswold from the “Christmas Vacation” movie
    “I fell off one of the roof once,” he says. “Haley (one of the couple’s three children) was out there. She said, ‘Dad, are you OK?’” I fell, and I hit hard. I broke my ladder. I still have the dent in my ladder.”
    The display includes a lighted wooden cross with a trumpeting tinsel angel at its base. Those two items – symbolic of the family’s Christian faith –stay up until Easter. The rest of the decorations, rain, snow or shine, normally come down Jan. 1.
    The three glowing reindeer – one with a red bulb for Rudolph’s nose – are in honor of their three children, 15, 11 and 9. Michelle, who has lived in Brighton since 1977, is a former Brighton schoolteacher and now home schools their kids.
    While the planning is elaborate, David said he is careful not to cross the line between elegant and tacky.
    “You look at a lot of other houses, and it’s chaotic,” he says. “People are just putting up lights randomly. I try to make sure there’s nothing chaotic about it. I try to make sure everything has a purpose.”
    Michelle likes to think she is the support system for her husband’s passion. The new, blue snowflakes were her special request. David adds something new each season.
    “If I add a little bit every year, in 10 years, it’s going to be pretty spectacular,” he jokes.
    Michelle never foresees the day when she tells David “enough is enough.”
    “I can’t tell him that,” she says. “He’s like a kid. It would crush him.”
    Everybody knows their holiday role in the Nigro home      
    “He does all the Christmas decorating outside,” Michelle says. “This year, for the most part, the kids did all the inside, and I take care of all the shopping. If I have to tell him to pull the plug on the Christmas lights, he might tell me I have to pull the plug on the shopping.”


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