FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As the world prepares for snow, shopping, caroling, and holiday fun, many longtime decorators are returning to their tricks of the trade as they get their Christmas displays ready for viewers.

“We started when we moved in here 25 years ago with just like our bushes. Then every year I keep adding more and more. Last year [Jody] said that I couldn’t add any more but I found a place to put another 8,000 lights,” said Matt Ellenwood.

Their display takes just under two months to put up and almost a year of planning. Matt Ellenwood said that he likes to start putting the displays up that would be harder to do in the cold such as the roof.

“[It takes] patience, taking your time and doing it right. And I map it out every year,” he said.

With many years of experience and thousands of lights to make sure are secure in all weather, the Ellenwoods have learned a few tricks of the trade over the years.

How to attach lights to different surfaces:

  • PVC pipe: white duck tape
  • Roof: staples
  • Trees: wrap individually
  • Decorative candy canes: tape

How to make light-up arches:

  1. Glue two eight foot PVC pipes together
  2. Wrap lights around the PVC pipes and hold together with white duck tap
  3. Put rebar on the ground for the pipes to slide into

How to check lights:

“Some of them are really easy to fix, there are tools out there that you can buy,” said Matt Ellenwood. “… you can find a bulb out really quick.”

For anyone who would like to see the Ellenwood’s winter wonderland, head over to 721 Pelham Drive. The display will be up every night until New Year. On Fridays and Saturdays where there is good weather, guests can have a special treat with Santa and Mrs. Claus on-site until Christmas. On nights when Santa is not there, kids can mail a letter to him on the display as well.