Homeowner’s holiday mission: ‘Make people happy’

Anyone who has driven down Adams street near Victory Road at this time of year in the past decade or so knows to expect it: the explosion of Christmas lights covering the entire front yard and façade of the three-story family house that can’t be missed.

The house has become a local attraction for families and their young children to marvel, take pictures and explore the garden of lights – the family leaves its front gate open so curious neighbors can come in for a closer look.

The house belongs to Hoa Nguyen and his wife, who estimate they have lived in the house for twelve years and in Dorchester for fifteen. They both work and have a 12-year old daughter. (His wife and daughter declined to give their names to the Dorchester Reporter.)

The daughter comes alive when asked about the best interactions she’s had with people coming to observe the annual display. One time, she says, a stranger taught her how to take quality photos with his iPad, emphasizing the importance of shooting from different angles. Another time, a woman rang their doorbell to excitedly tell the family that her mom “didn’t believe in Christmas” until she saw the cheery house, which gave her a change-of-heart.

It seems the goodwill towards the house includes those most directly affected by it. So far, the family says, they haven’t received any complaints from neighbors about the annual light show.

As for the question on many peoples’ minds – how much does a month-long display of lights covering an entire house and front yard cost? – the family estimates a rather low number: $200. The couple puts up the lights by themselves, which takes them three days. The rest of the year, they find a way to fit all the equipment in their backyard and basement.

The daughter says her father came up with the idea about seven years ago and considers the lights his “hobby.”

“He wants to make people happy,” she says.

His plan seems to be working.

Outside, a young girl with her family grins in awe at the spectacularly decorated crèche scene, complete with automated music and a slowly moving robotic baby Jesus. Meanwhile, a little boy races up and down the yard’s lighted path over and over until his mother tells him it’s time to go home.