Montgomery man shares Christmas spirit one light bulb at a time

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- From cartoon characters to your classic Christmas cast: Carmen Gemette's house in Montgomery's Dalraida community has it all.

With the flick of a series of switches attached to the side of the house, thousands of lights and decorations glisten and Christmas comes alive.

It's a tradition going on 18 years. Gemette spearheads the operation.

"It takes about 6 weeks to put it up,"he said.

"My children started me on it.  We put a few things out, and they said, 'Pa, we need to do more.'"

Neighbors love the yearly sight.

"We come out and see it every year. It's great," said Chris Baker of Montgomery.

If the lights don't turn your head, the power bill might.

"[The bill amounts to ] about $450. For one month," he explained.

Even though the project took weeks to build and carries with it a huge electrical bill, Gemette says the display isn't about the work or the money.

"If you could see the looks on children's faces--and the adults, too--when they walk around here [...] they just love it.  And that's it," he said.

It's a reaction that holds true this holiday season.

"It's beautiful and pretty," one young girl explained.

"I think it's great.  I really do.  It's unselfish on his part, and he's giving back to the community," Baker said.

While the lights are up, the public is welcome to walk around and see the display.

The whole process, Gemette says, takes about four months from setup to tear down, but he admits it's well worth the trouble.