Holiday house brings joy to many
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
A variety of Christmas inflatables and lights are viewed at the Cox home during the holidays.
For the past 15 years Jeff Cox has put out a holiday display in front of his house on the corner of Lemon Grove and Almond Avenue and plans to continue the tradition.
This year, Cox has about 30 inflatables that occupy his entire yard and even to the grass area on the other side of the driveway. The display includes about 10,000 lights.
“They are around everything,” he said. “They are on the ground and sequenced to music. We have spiral trees and lights in the bushes sequenced to music and we’re broadcasting music on FM radio (98.5).”
Because of the space in his front yard, he can’t really put out any more, but he does as much as he can.
“I used to have a light show and I moved it so it could be seen,” Cox said. “We have more blo-molds this year. We really like them.”
Unfortunately, last year, Cox was almost going to take down his entire display. Just shortly after putting up a couple of inflatables, someone entered his yard and took a box cutter to two of them, destroying the decorations.
“I was going to take this stuff down,” he said. “We got so much outpouring from the community coming over giving us gift cards, goodies and inflatables. It really enthused me to do the display. It wasn’t just neighbors that came by. We had people from around that bring their kids over every night. It was encouraging to do it even though it got vandalized.”
This year, though, Cox wanted to make sure his decorations were up early because of how difficult it has been.
“I wanted to make sure we got it out and early because of the kind of year it’s been,” he said. “The only thing we didn’t do is the garage (display) because I didn’t want people in the garage touching things because of COVID. We didn’t do it last year, too, because of the vandalism. I plan on doing it next year. We’ll be back.”
This year, Cox is getting more help — his grandkids.
“They love it,” he said. “They are the ones that unreel the lights and put some in the bushes. Every year they get older and it’s more help. My kids get less and less into it so the grandkids help. The kids were excited about getting the displays up before Thanksgiving. The past week, when I’ve been out working on the display, people came up and stopped to tell me it makes them feel better.”
After 15 years of putting up his display, Cox has gotten a little smarter about doing it. A few years ago, he overloaded his circuits so much that when he ran his dishwasher, his display would shut off. He also has them set up on a timer so he doesn’t have to get up to turn them on.
“I have two bins full of extension cords and two circuits dedicated just to the displays,” he said. “Nothing is overloaded. It’s kind of nice.”
Although at the time of talking to Cox, his display was full, he says he’s never really done adding to the display. In fact, he added a new inflatable on the day of the interview and also bought some new ones this year. However, he also had to retire some that just didn’t meet his standards.
“I don’t think I’m ever usually done,” Cox said. “I might put something out tomorrow. The majority of the display takes about a week. It’s usually a couple of hours after work. The kids come over on the weekend to get most of it done.
“I bought a few new ones. It’s a charge for me to do this. This year, I retired some of my favorite ones. I had a Mickey Mouse sleigh that was damaged by the vandalism last year. I didn’t put anything out that wasn’t in really good shape.”
Cox invites kids young and old to visit his yard and he said he gets a thrill when he sees people driving slowly by his yard or walking by it to see and marvel at his display.