The days are getting shorter and shorter, working toward the winter solstice on Dec. 21.

However, the holiday spirit is growing brighter and brighter, bolstered with some help from light displays throughout the southwest metro.

Included in this package, are just a few of the countless neighborhood holiday displays that help keep our spirits bright during long winter nights.

SNOOK FAMILY LIGHTS

Snook Family Lights

Snook Family Lights features over a dozen songs including "All I Want For Christmas Is You," and "Do You Want To Build A Snowman."

A night drive by the Snook family’s house around the holidays presents a mashup of lights, colors and patterns that, when tuned into 91.9 FM, coordinate with the station’s music. It’s an all-LED 50,000 light display the family started in 2013 with the help of a computer program.

-Amy Felegy

'IT JUST GREW AND GREW'

17428 Evener Way lights

Marla Williamson and her family have put up holiday lights for 20 years at 17428 Evener Way.

Marla Williamson and her family have built holiday light displays for over 20 years, she said.

Over the years, they've become more spectacular.

"It just grew and grew and grew," Williamson said.

-Eden Teller

THE SNOW GLOBE CHURCH

St. Martin's by-the-Lake lights 1

St. Martin’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church lights up Minnetonka Beach every year with their lighting display.

St. Martin’s by-the-Lake Episcopal Church on Shoreline Drive in Minnetonka Beach has a light display every year that the Rev. Cindy Hillger says attracts many visitors.

The church sits on Lafayette Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

Hillger said there are 4,000 lights on the building — covering 700 feet and a 18-foot balsam fir Christmas tree. 

Christmas Decor, a Minneapolis company, does the install, according to Hillger. 

The lighting tradition started around 5 years ago, Hillger said. 

-Frances Stevenson

LIGHTING UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Sophia Drive

Sophia Drive/Circle in Chaska is lit up by about 20,000 lights.

For the past 14 years, neighbors along Sophia Drive and Sophia Circle in Chaska have been decorating their boulevard trees with white lights to celebrate the season.

About 20,000 lights are included in the display, explained Sophia Circle resident Valerie Stuhr.

"Traveling down Sophia is both magical and peaceful," Stuhr said. We feel very blessed our neighbors (old and new) continue this delightful tradition each year!"

-Mark W. Olson

PD Shimmers lights up Plymouth

PD Shimmers 1

The PD Shimmers light show in Plymouth features 60,000 dancing lights synchronized to music.

At a house in Plymouth, 60,000 lights dance to music in honor of the 60,000 people diagnosed each year with Parkinson's disease. 

Mike Justak, who has Parkinson's disease, programs the synchronized light show. His neighbor, Matt Dunn, helps manage the show each night. 

This is the 10th year for PD Shimmers.

-Melissa Turtinen

Minions join in the fun

7307 Frontier Trail

The Minions are helping Santa and the elves make Christmas bright at 7307 Frontier Trail.

Nearly a dozen or more bigger than life size inflatable Christmas characters decorate the home of Jeffrey Commander, from Santa and his reindeer to mischievous elves, a snowman, even a few Minions have joined the fun.

-Unsie Zuege

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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