Christmas light decorator uses holidays to stay afloat when water is shut off

    Christmas light decorator uses holidays to stay afloat when water is shut off. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Brooks.)<p>{/p}

    YAKIMA, Wash.- With how many lights Kevin Brooks has in storage most of the year, you might think he is the Grinch that stole Christmas.

    However, he's the one who gives people's homes the Christmas spirit by professionally putting up their lights.

    Brooks owns an irrigation company, but has to close up shop when water is turned off during fall and not opened up until spring.

    He had to find a way to make up the months where no money was coming in.

    “Either find other employment or hope you make it through the winter. It just got tight during the winter time,” Brooks said.

    Dwight Price has hired him to put up lights for the last ten years and said his house was never decorated before brooks came along.

    “I thought it would be so neat to put all the tree different colors and decorate the house, so each year we kept adding a little bit more each year,” Price said.

    This is the largest home Brooks has done and says labor alone costs about $4,000.

    Lighting a ten-foot tree alone can cost around $200 and shrubs range anywhere from $50 to $70 each.

    With over 30,000 lights on his home, Price said it's worth it after seeing how his home lights up the neighborhood.

    “He's such a perfectionist at what he does and every tree in the house is put up so well,” he said.

    Brooks said he looks forward to this time of year every year and only has one tip for those looking to decorate their own homes.

    “Don't over load things. Just have fun with it,” he said. “Put up what you want.”

    Brooks said an average home he does has around 1,500 to 2,000 lights, so this one has around 20 times more than that.

    With only a few more weeks of the holiday season, it won't be long before he is out here taking all these lights down for next year.

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