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Middletown Area Business Association holds contest, seeks homes best decorated for Christmas

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 12/11/19

Ever since Angela and Christopher Long moved into their Royalton home on Dock Street, they have decorated their home for Christmas.

“We have people stop us all the time and thank us for …

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Middletown Area Business Association holds contest, seeks homes best decorated for Christmas

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Ever since Angela and Christopher Long moved into their Royalton home on Dock Street, they have decorated their home for Christmas.

“We have people stop us all the time and thank us for doing our light show. It’s something about the dancing lights and the music that goes with it,” Christopher said.

Their decorations grow every year — whether it be adding more festive inflatable decorations like Buddy the Elf or setting Christmas lights to flash to carols such as “Angels We Have Heard on High.” In past years, the Longs have written “Merry Christmas” in lights on the roof of their house, which is on the garage this year.

“This year is probably the most lights we’ve ever had considering we have the front, the side and the whole backyard,” Christopher said.

This year, the Middletown Area Business Association is holding its first house decorating contest called ’Tis the Season to Deck the House. People have until Dec. 18 to enter.

The Longs are one of the families that have thrown their hat into the ring.

The Longs’ home is also on the Holiday Home Tour, and to prepare for the tour, they added extra decorations outside.

They decided to enter the business association’s contest after seeing information about it on social media.

While the decorations give them the Christmas spirit, the community is what has kept the Longs decorating every year.

“I think that’s why we like doing it is we’d let people down if we didn’t,” Angela said.

According to Scott Sites, who is on the Middletown Area Business Association Board of Directors, the idea was formed while he was brainstorming ways to give back to the community with fellow board member Robin Pelligrini.

Sites said he was looking forward to the community participating in the contest and getting the business association’s name out there.

“I think we can do a lot for the community and getting the community to know that we’re here and that we want to be part of it,” Sites said.

The contest is open to residences within the boundaries of Middletown Area School District, or the boroughs of Middletown and Royalton and Lower Swatara Township.

“The homeowner can nominated themselves or if someone sees a property they like, they can nominate it,” Sites said.

People can nominate a house by submitting the address via email to middletownbusinessassoc@gmail.com. Nominations must be in by Dec. 18.

So far, 10 houses have entered the contest, but Sites is hoping to get as many as 50 homes to participate.

All of the houses will be judged together by Sites and three other people. Once all of the houses are nominated, the four will rank the houses in order of their favorites.

Then, they will compare their lists and come to an agreement.

Houses will be awarded first, second and third, though Sites said prizes may also be allocated to other houses.

So far eight businesses, including Roberto’s and the Hetrick Center, have donated prizes such as gift cards and a massage. The business association is still seeking donations from companies and individuals.

Personally, Sites said he likes old-fashioned figurines.

“I just like looking at a house that’s well lit and a variety of decorations whether it’s snowmen, Santa Claus or reindeer,” Sites said.

It often takes the Longs more than a week to decorate their house. Christopher has even used vacation time to decorate.

Christopher grew up in the left side of the house. When he and Angela bought it, they remodeled the inside to make it one large house. As part of the remodeling, the Longs installed a breaker just for Christmas lights.

“We also do decorate before Thanksgiving, but we never turn it on until Thanksgiving night,” Christopher said.

It takes about a week of preparation to buy zip ties, make sure that all of the lights work, and buy any new decorations. Angela and Christopher go shopping together for decorations and look for decorations that jump out at them — such as the inflatable Buddy the Elf.

Last year, they went to visit their son Trevor Fuller, who is a corporal in the Marines, for the holidays. Christopher said they let everyone down because they didn’t have time to decorate their house.

So the Longs built a Grinch, hung one strand of lights, and made it look like the Grinch stole their decorations.