By Jenna Bagcal
A Whitestone house, which is known to locals as “Santa’s Corner,” is back with its larger-than-life display just in time for the holiday season after homeowner Kevin Lynch took a decorating hiatus last year.
This year, Lynch was joined by his 15-year-old son Timothy, whom Kevin cites as his biggest motivation to adorn the house at 166-04 23rd Ave. for the season.
“My son Timothy finally said he was gonna come out and help me and that was a big boost for me,” said Kevin Lynch, a retired firefighter. “So he pushed me and I said, ‘Let’s go.’”
“I just missed it last year and I convinced him to do it this year,” said Timothy Lynch, who is currently a sophomore at Holy Cross High School in Flushing. Kevin Lynch added that his son’s friends, who have been coming to see the house since childhood, were also a motivating factor.
For the past 20 years, Kevin Lynch has been decking out his entire house with dazzling decorations, which include thousands of lights, playful figurines and a projection of Santa Claus sneaking past a top-floor window. His decorating prowess even helped him to win ABC’s “Great Christmas Light Fight” competition in 2013.
But in 2017, Lynch decided that it was time to take a break “to see other people’s Christmas displays that I never get to see.” He’s friends with “big decorators” on Long Island and in other states and was happy he was able to enjoy their displays last year.
Lynch also cited safety concerns as reasons for why he took last Christmas off.
“The traffic was totally insane and 20 years doing this, no one’s ever gotten hurt, [but] there were kids running in the street,” said Lynch. “Parents weren’t watching their kids and I couldn’t control the traffic. But this year, the 109th Precinct, the community affairs officer promised me that on the weekends he’s gonna have some help here, which is great.”
The homeowner was thrilled to have his son pitch in. He said Timothy put up “about half” of the decorations this year, which took them seven weeks.
“We had a couple of bad days. I’m getting a little slower in age and he had school, so he couldn’t help me until he got out of school.”
Timothy Lynch said that his favorite part of the house is the left side, which features a glass display box that the teen put together over the course of six days. The box contains over a hundred moving figurines that depict familiar winter scenes, houses and miniature amusement park rides.
One of Kevin Lynch’s most asked questions about his house is how much his electric bill costs during the Christmas season.
“I’ll gladly go in and get it. If you see it, you pay it,” he said. “So in 20 years no one’s wanted to see the bill. It’s not about the money; I just do it.”
Lynch added that he and his son are not completely finished putting up decorations and will probably be done by the middle of next week. His favorite part of the experience is the community aspect and seeing the children’s enjoyment every year.
“I come out and see all the kids and everything, I can’t say anything bad. The joy on their faces, [kids] running around, the community having a good time,” he said.