Holiday shines bright, inside and out, for Ross family
With more than 3,000 lights outside his home and hundreds more inside, Ross Township resident Brandon Reilly is well on his way to solidifying his status as the neighborhood Clark Griswold.
Drivers along McKnight Road might recognize his Brethauer Avenue home above them — complete with a 1,600-light custom-built tree, flashing train and a rooftop “Reindeer crossing” sign, things Griswold, of “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation,” would appreciate.
Missing from his display this year is a 25-foot inflatable snowman.
“It actually goes above the top of the peak of my house,” Reilly, 31, said. “It's pretty impressive.”
The snowman was punctured in a windstorm and will not appear as part of Reilly's outdoor Christmas spectacle this season. Reilly said he hopes a similarly sized inflatable will return next year; a smaller inflatable snowman is out front this year.
But that didn't dampen Reilly's holiday spirit or outdoor show, as lighted plastic items such as a classic Santa face and Nativity scene join a moving projection display and plenty of lights along the front and sides of his home.
Part of Reilly's self-proclaimed “Christmas obsession” includes decking nearly every nook and cranny inside of the home he shares with his wife, Karen Reilly.
The home is decked with subtle and not-so-subtle decorations in bathrooms, bedrooms, the entryway, kitchen and dining areas, to the focal point of the living room with an 8-foot-by-12-foot platform filled with a miniature Disney village and live tree.
“My wife screams and yells that we don't have any room for this,” Brandon Reilly said with a laugh.
“She makes fun of me because I have a posterboard map” detailing where each piece in the Disney village belongs. More than 20 Disney-themed village pieces are part of his growing collection, including a castle and monorail.
His collection began about 12 years ago he said.
Brandon Reilly begins decorating in mid-October.
“I tend to hide out when all of the boxes come out of the attic,” Karen Reilly said. “I help decorate the tree, but he's so particular about his houses.
“I help with the little things that go around the house.”
A decorated home at Christmas was a familiar sight for Karen Reilly, she said.
“My dad always would put Christmas lights outside,” she said. “We always had a big tree, too.”
The couple realized the similarities in Christmas traditions the first holiday they spent together.
“It's funny because some people are very particular with how they decorate their trees — matching ornaments, lights,” she said. “Our first Christmas together, Brandon and I both realized we did the same kind of trees growing up, so it has all of our fun ornaments and all of our ornaments from growing up.”
For Brandon Reilly, Christmas is about those traditions and the buildup of the season with family and friends.
“The holidays are a big deal,” he said. “Christmas is always more about the anticipation and what it means — family and togetherness. So going all out and spending a month and a half planning and decorating helps to build that anticipation and excitement.
“I love when I see kids in the neighborhood stare in front of the house. It takes me back to when I was little and would look at lights.”
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ross Township officials begin planning for next 20 years
- Hampton woman’s quilt makes magazine cover
- Etna completes 2 projects to keep storm water out of sewer lines
- Fundraiser slated for for local charities at Marshall’s Generoasta Coffee
- Harvest Home Dinner celebrating 125th year at St. Alphonsus in Pine
- North Allegheny Little League has groundbreaking season
- 2 promoted to lieutenant in Shaler
- Shaler students will see advances in technology when they return to class
- Photo Gallery: Food-truck roundup at Northland Public Library
- Photo Gallery: Etna Community Day
- Northern Tier Regional Library in Richland names new director