LIMA — For 18-year-old Casey Etter, the best Christmas gift is another roll of Christmas lights.
Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative named Etter, of Cloverdale, as its 2018 Griswold Christmas Lights contest winner last week.
“As the middle child, I do all of this just because I like the Christmas season,” Casey said in a PPEC press release. “We used to have only a few lights in the yard, but as I got older, I wanted more and more. Soon, we added a tractor, a 20-foot tree and synchronized the lights to music. We just keep adding each year.”
To gain the honor, Etter used 10,000 bulbs to cover his parent’s house and lawn with Christmas decorations – a task that takes five days to complete. Casey is the son of Mark and Brenda Etter.
Midwest Electric, which holds the same contest for its members, named the family of Ryan and Sarah Bollenbacher, of St. Henry, as its 2018 winners.
“When I was growing up, I remember helping my dad put up the Christmas lights at home. It was always an exciting time,” Ryan Bollenbacher said in a press release. “Now, I hope to pass that tradition along to my children. They are excited to ‘help,’ even if it’s holding the ladder.”
The Bollenbachers have six children – Kennedy, Kylie, Amelia, Myles, Marcus and Micah – who help with the two-day endeavor each year. The end result is a yard full of multi-colored lighted bushes and trees that can be seen driving down Dorothy Lane in St. Henry.
“I enjoy watching the cars drive by and looking at the lights we put up. Our whole street is lit up with lanterns for Christmas. If you’re out and about, come check them out. They are for our whole family and all the kids who go by to enjoy,” Ryan said.
As part of the contest awards, the Etters and Bollenbachers will both see a $50 credit on their next electric bill.