Carson Williams' Christmas House
By David Emery
Netlore Archive: Forwarded video of Carson Williams' suburban house decorated with animated Christmas lights synchronized to "Wizards of Winter" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Description: Viral video
Circulating since: Nov 2005
Status: Authentic / Outdated (see details below)
Email contributed by Nancy C., Nov. 23, 2005:
Subject: FW: Christmas Light Mania
This is something else.
Carson Williams from Mason, Ohio used 88 Light-O-Rama channels to control his 16,000 christmas lights. The music is mesmerizing, the light display is enchanting, and I'd go crazy if I were his next door neighbor. So enjoy this clip and be happy we're in a different zipcode.
Analysis: The video is real, if a bit dated. This phenomenal animated Christmas display, computer-synchronized to a rousing rendition of "Wizards in Winter" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, was constructed in 2004 by Carson Williams of Mason, Ohio using programmable light controllers and software made by Light-O-Rama of Garfield, New Jersey. The music was broadcast on FM radio so visitors could listen to it as they drove by the house in their cars.
Circulating since November 2005, the "Christmas House" video has become an Internet favorite and turned Carson Williams into a minor celebrity. He built a new display for the 2005 holiday season which had to be shut down well before Christmas, unfortunately, because it caused traffic congestion in the neighborhood.
2006 Update: Carson Williams' "Christmas in Lights" is back for 2006, this time installed in Mason, Ohio's Heritage Oak Park. The new display consists of two full-size replicas of the facade of Williams' house, again decorated with tens of thousands of lights synchronized to music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Williams has also designed Christmas displays for other cities, including Wheeler, West Virginia and Denver, Colorado.
2007 Update: "Christmas in Lights" returned to Heritage Oak Park in Mason, Ohio on Thanksgiving weekend 2007. This year's display, once again designed by Carson Williams, consists of two facades decorated with 65,000 lights synchronized to a musical score, plus a projected video performance by the Mason High School Wind Symphony.
Williams is also credited as a collaborator on the brand-new "Symphony in Lights" display at Promenade Bolingbrook in Bolingbrook, Illinois, as well as Toronto's "Starlight Spectacular," billed as a "first-of-its-kind-in-North-America digital symphony of stars," in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
2008 Update: In an unmistakable sign of the times, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Carson Williams' "Christmas in Lights" will not return to Mason, Ohio for Christmas 2008 due to a lack of sponsor funding. Williams' handiwork will be seen in other parts of the U.S., however, including Columbus, Denver, and Chicago.
2009 Update: Mason, Ohio's original "Christmas in Lights" show may be a thing of the past, but Carson Williams' work is still showing up in cities around the U.S., including Wheeling, West Virginia and Tampa, Florida.
Christmas History, Traditions and Folklore
Learn about the history and customs of Christmas
Sources and further reading:
Christmas House Video Is Quite a Sight
KCCI-TV News, 1 December 2005
Spectacular Holiday Lights Display Goes Dark
KCCI-TV News, 8 December 2005
Mason Christmas Lights Creator Brightens Up Other Cities, Too
Oxford Press, 27 November 2006
Mason's Holiday Lights Dance Again for Another Season
Cincinnati Enquirer, 21 November 2007
Lack of Sponsor Kills Light Show
Cincinnati Enquirer, 6 December 2008
Last updated: 10/09/13