The Christmas house you’ve got to see to believe (Opinion)
Some houses are decorated so well for the holidays that others say, "why should I bother? I could never compete with that!" Well, in Manalapan that house belongs to Vanessa & Nick Antanies, who live at 13 Glendale Drive in Manalapan. You've got to experience it to believe it!
"We have an incredible light show that is set to music," Vanessa told me in a text exchange. "You can choose to stay in your car and 'listen to the lights' at 93.5 FM or you can get out and walk around and look at all the different scenes that are set up."
The lights are only the beginning.
"We have a lot of vintage blow molds set up on the lawn, and different little 'houses' with animated figures from years ago, that you would see in Macy's windows. My parents used to do a display very similar to this 25 years ago, we used a lot of those pieces, restored them, and brought them back to life! We have an icy, Eskimo scene, CandyCane Construction, Santas Workshop, and Santas Reindeer Barn."
The house has been a work in progress. "My husband has been collecting different pieces for years, and this year it all just came together"
The crowds are coming together as well, and they're not just driving by
"We have had a lot of traffic since we opened on Friday, Nov. 27. Most people are getting out and walking around. We do ask that everyone wear masks and social distance."
Since the holidays are all about giving, the Antanies are using their beautiful home to raise money for some great causes.
"We decided to donate to colon/rectal cancer research because it is very close to home...last year I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. It was my 3rd cancer diagnosis in 15 years. I just finished treatment this past May. The entire community rallied for us, and came together to support us. We knew we needed to give back to the charity AND the community. We are collecting monetary donations at the house, or you can donate online here."
They are also collecting pajamas which they distribute to children in the foster care system through a non profit called "We Are Loved," so if you have any, there's a drop off box.
You can also check out the "Lights on Glendale" Facebook page.
As much joy as people get from seeing the house, it's nothing compared to the joy Vanessa and Nick get in return.
"We absolutely LOVE seeing everyone's faces, young and old enjoy what we have put together. The hard work, sleepless nights..are all worth it when we see the kids faces light up! Especially this year!"
If you have a house that you would like to enter in out "Light Up New Jersey Contest and possibly win $1000, click here.
Check out this gallery of pictures of the "Lights At Glendale."
LOOK: The Christmas house you've got to see to believe
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.