• 36°

Jay Little takes top Electric Elf honors

By Holly Lee

Salisbury

As I approached Jay Little’s house at 312 Haney Street in China Grove, I immediately understood why his light display is a six-month project.

At first, I had a hard time distinguishing exactly which side of the house was the front because of all the lights.

While many people who created elaborate displays were featured in the Post as electric elves, Little has clinched the overall title.

For his electric wonderland of holiday cheer, we name Jay Little Rowan County’s 2006 Electric Elf.

As I drove by, I thought, “Santa won’t need Rudolph this year, no matter how foggy. Little’s house could guide wayward ships. I’m sure Santa’s sleigh won’t have any problems.”

I also had the urge to stop my car for fear of an accident.

All the flashing made me dizzy, and I was constantly trying to crane my neck to the left to examine the intricate details while looking at the road ahead.

Several vehicles already lined the street — I don’t know if getting a closer look was their intention or if they shared my fears.

I also tried to check my rear view mirror often so I wouldn’t hold up traffic, although the car in front of me obviously wasn’t worried about this.

When I interviewed Little for the Post’s Christmas Light competition, I had pictures we received through e-mail. But he said I would have to see it in person.

The pictures definitely didn’t do his creation justice.

Something about his display just draws you in. It’s impossible to look away and equally impossible to see everything in one drive by.

Just as Santa’s elves work all year making toys for Christmas, Little works all year on his holiday display.

It takes six months to get the lights up and take them down, and then he spends the other six months of the year looking for new items and creating his own.

Little must have a special type of patience that I know I don’t possess to put up all those lights.

I would be frustrated after the first couple of strands and definitely wouldn’t make it to the 30,000th light.

Dustin, my husband, and I put up our own Christmas lights for the first time this year.

It took nearly all day, and all we have are a few icicle lights lining the roof.

I barely had the patience to untangle the 10 strands of lights we used and hoist them up to Dustin, with the help of a kitchen broom.

He didn’t seem to mind putting the lights up, but somehow I don’t think he’d be willing to switch places with Little.

As the Electric Elf nominations started to roll in, many co-workers joked about my involvement with the contest.

Our managing editor, Frank DeLoache, vowed he was going to rent an elf costume and make me wear it around the office — or worse, to present the prize to the Electric Elf winner.

Neither has come true. I knew Frank was too frugal to come through on the elf suit rental, but I was made aware of a way to dress myself as an elf for everyone’s enjoyment.

ElfYourself.com is a Web site through the Office Max company that allows you to put a picture of your head on a dancing elf’s body. You can even record your own voice singing to the music.

Post Copy Editor Katie Olsen was the first to see the site and knew everyone would love to see me as a dancing elf.

I hope she enjoys the link I sent her to watch my performance.

While you can use the ElfYourself Web site for endless holiday enjoyment, we hope to promote Christmas light enjoyment this weekend.

We’ve included a map with all the Electric Elf sites that have been featured in the Post.

Take a look at which sites are in your area and visit them as part of your Christmas light outing.

If you don’t normally drive around looking at lights, maybe this is the year.

You can’t go wrong if you follow our map; we’ve already identified sites throughout the county that won’t disappoint.

So get your copy of today’s Post and get in your car.

You may return from your trip delighted, shocked or feeling empowered to put up your own display next year.

Whatever your feeling about the Electric Elf nominees, you’re sure to come away with a bright smile.

Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or hlee@salisburypost.com.

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