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J. Shane Mercer, Published December 20 2008

'Twas the light before Christmas

Christmas is a time to create cherished memories with loved ones, reflect on the themes of the season and create a yard light display that can be seen from Venus.

In the tradition of the latter, readers e-mailed us their picks for the top light displays in the metro area, and we’ve drawn up a list of Christmas light hot spots. So bundle up the kids and crank up the minivan.

- 670 Mairs Ave., Gardner, N.D. Gene and Kathie Schobinger’s lights aren’t just a display, they’re a Christmas show, with lights flickering on and off in time to the music that Gene Schobinger broadcasts over FM radio – tuned to 96.3 FM. And that’s not all; the light displays at numerous other homes in the neighborhood are also synced to the Schobingers’ system.

- 1218 2nd St. N., Fargo. For those who think less is more, there’s the simplicity of the angel and manger at the home of David and Jan Christy. Of course, simple is a relative term. David Christy estimates that the top of the angel reaches about 15 feet in the air.

- 3825 10th St. N., Fargo. What’s great about this display is the coordination. The red-and-green color scheme and the spirals and S-curves help unify the display into a tasty, cohesive package.

- 744 Lakeridge Drive, West Fargo. If you’re looking for a North-Pole-meets-fairyland feel, this is your stop. It has a sort of minimalist, stylized touch to it, but still feels warm and inviting and serves up a dose of childlike wonder.

- 1310 21st St. S., Fargo. The roof awash in red lights, this home plays the lighting up big. The bonus is that a number of other houses on this part of 21st Street also bring the holiday glow.

Other light displays

Here are some other bright light sites that Forum readers suggested:

- 1817 5th St. S., Fargo

- 3307 Peterson Parkway, Fargo

- 1101 20th St. N., Moorhead

- 3819 Sheyenne St., West Fargo

- 1345 4th Ave. S., Fargo