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There are over 1000 pounds of lights and extension cords on the Bluelights House. The attic floor had to be reinforced to store them!







Bluelights explained:

No Santas, no Frosty, no Rudolf, no light ups, blowmolds or inflatables - just 100,000miniature Christmas lights and the real stars of the season depicted in a custom manger scene made from lights complete with three wise men and a camel that start at the edge of the property and get a little closer to the manger each night, symbolizing the long trip to Bethlehem from the East. It was the gifts that these three men brought that we celebrate by gift-giving today. To continue this spirit of giving we put the donation box out front to accept donations that benefit local children through Toys for Tots. You can simply drive by and look if you like but please donate if you can. Even a small gift can make a big difference and Bluelights.org is grateful for every toy that is given. Browse the questions below for more information, and fun facts about Bluelights.org!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




How many lights are there?

The most frequent question. There are well over 100,000 lights!

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How much is your power bill?

The second most frequent question. That answer remains a secret. We don't mean to be evasive, but it is our sincere wish that people will enjoy the lights for what they are - a way of expressing the joy of the season - and not think about it in terms of money. Compared with the amount of toys that are donated, the Bluelights are a very worthwhile investment, financially speaking. We have almost completed migrated to LED lights, which have dramatically reduced the amount of power used.

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Why do you do this?

There are many reasons: First and foremost is a celebration of Christmas and all its meanings. Christmas lights are each little symbols of the star the wise men followed to Bethlehem. Gifts are given at Christmas time to symbolize the gifts given to Jesus by the Three Wise Men. Children ask about the lights, the wise men and the nativity scene which gives a parent the opportunity to explain what the Holiday is all about. Second, because the spectacle of the lights simply make people happy. They're bright; they're pretty; they move and something you don't often see at this scale, especially not like this. Also, driving to see the lights gives people one more reason to be together. I hear stories from so many people every year saying that their kids make them drive by every night, or that they brought their friends up from Atlanta to see them or that they drove their elderly parent by one night. Everyone's lives are so busy these days and the holidays can be even more hectic so if just one family or group of friends spend a half hour in the car together to see these lights or if seeing them brings a smile to one person's face, then it was worth all the time and effort. Last but not at all least, bringing in toy donations is a huge reason to do this because it which makes a lot of underprivileged kids feel remembered at this time of year.

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How long does it take to put the lights up?

Counting the time spent by the main installer/owner and volunteers - it takes more than 120 hours - three 40 hour work weeks! Its vacation time well spent.

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When do you turn them on?

For 2011 the lights are coming on Friday, Dec 2nd and will be on from dusk until 2AM every night through New Year's Day.

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We came by one night when it was raining and some of the lights were out. What's up with that?

Even though the lights are water resistant, due to the extremely high amperage loads created by the lights, moisture still collects in the light sockets and trips the breakers on several of the circuits, especially the lights in the grass and on the bushes. The good news is that due to the lower amp draw, the new LED's are much less likely to trip the breakers when wet. Other lights still have to be turned off to protect the computer controllers. As soon as they have a day to dry out, the lights will be back on. Besides, that's a great excuse to come back and see them again!

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Where did you get that manger scene?

The manger scene was custom made here. Its 3/16" metal rod shaped and welded into the characters, camel, trees and manger. All the pieces were then painted black and the standard mini lights were clipped to them. The backdrop is a PVC frame covered in stretched outdoor carpet to create a night sky backdrop for the stars.

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Why don't you have any plastic characters, Santa Clauses or inflatables?

We are fans of all kinds of decorations and love seeing the fun characters other people use to celebrate the season. For us however, Christmas lights are symbols of the Star of Bethlehem and we celebrate the nativity with just the classic mini-lights. Even our manger scene characters are welded metal with mini lights attached. We feel it's like painting the house with lights. Plus, Santa Claus gets enough publicity during the Holidays without our help.

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Are the lights intended for everyone?

Absolutely - The lights are intended to celebrate not just Christmas and the Nativity, but the spirit of giving, the spreading of joy and the togetherness of family and friends found in all holidays. Bluelights hope that everyone of every religion or of no religion at all will enjoy them.

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Why Toys for Tots?

Imagination is priceless; especially in a child's life, and playing with toys is a wonderful tool to develop imagination. A new toy can make a child feel very special, remembered and important. That toy can be a friend, a protector, inspire adventure or be a learning tool - the list is endless. There are many great charities out there that deserve and need our support, but here toys and imagination are close to our heart and Toys for Tots was always our first choice. We believe that the smallest differences can shape how a child grows up, and that a happy memory coupled with the knowledge of kindness and generosity experienced by these children firsthand will stay with them as they grow up and perhaps give to others' needs themselves - food, shelter, time, education - anything is possible.

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Why not skip the lights and just give the money you spent on them to Toys for Tots?

Wow. This one came from a true cynic, but the answer is simple - return on investment. The money spent on lights and electricity pales in comparison to the dollar amount of toys donated. For every dollar spent on lights and electricity, many, many dollars worth of toys go in the box. How can you argue with that? And besides, what about the intangibles - the time people spend together coming to see them - the smiles the lights create - adults and children alike being excited about donating a toy and taking that spirit of giving with them throughout their life? You can't put a price on that.

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Has the economy affected Toys for Tots?

Yes. There are many more people in need and far less people who can afford to give. Donations are down this year so PLEASE GIVE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Quantity is the biggest challenge for Toys for Tots this year. Five two dollar toys would be much better than one ten dollar toy. Discount stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General are a great source for inexpensive toys.

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What types of things can we donate?

Toys for Tots can accept new, unwrapped toys, books and games for young children to teenagers. Although any all donations are greatly appreciated, the vast majority of donations are intended for small children and gifts for children in the 12 to 15 age group are rare. It is this group that is sometimes the most conscious of being left out at Christmas. Please feel free to give to whatever age group you wish, but if you don't already have something in mind, a gift that a middle school age child would enjoy are all greatly needed. Sports equipment and jewelry making kits like bead-making, etc are great for this age group as well as small electronic games, art sets, creative type science toys, etc. Please be mindful that toys which require non-included paint, glue and other supplies can be difficult for children to fully enjoy because they may not have access or means to get the needed supplies. Likewise, batteries are a great gift. AA's, AAA's, D's and 9-volts are very useful because Toys for Tots can include a set when give toys that need them.

Toys for Tots cannot accept anything consumable or edible items like candy, makeup perfume or anything that could potentially cause an allergic reaction. When we receive donations like these as well as personal supplies like combs, toothpaste, clothes and food which TFT can't accept, we give them to local charities who can use them. Although we prefer toys, Bluelights.org encourages everyone to donate whatever and wherever they can. Everything you put in the box will make it to some local person who needs it.

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Can we donate money?

Bluelights.org would rather receive toys than money if at all possible however, we occasionally find money in the donation box or on the doorstep which we use to purchase toys for donation. We use every penny to buy toys that are donated so if you're inspired by the Bluelights and didn't bring a donation, please give what you can and be assured that it will be used to purchase a toy for a needy child. You can also donate money directly to Toys for Tots at their website - http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/default.asp.

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Why not Bluelights .com?

The suffix ".com" is for commerce, meaning businesses for profit, and ".org" is for organizations that are not for profit. Bluelights is a non profit religious organization and since all donations received go directly to Toys for Tots, ".com" wouldn't be appropriate. Beside, "Bluelights .com" is owned by Sears/K-Mart - home of the "Blue Light Special".

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Are you an official Toys for Tots donation center?

Yes! As of 2007 Bluelights.org is proud to announce that the Marine Corp and Toys for Tots recognized us as an official donation center.

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What's the difference between donating here and donating at a Toys for Tots location at the mall or a grocery store?

There's no difference at all. It doesn't matter where you donate, all the toys go to the same place for distribution to the Athens area children. We are thrilled that the Bluelights inspire people to give and we are excited to receive donations here, but we hope people will simply give anywhere and anyway they can. This website receives visitors from all over the world and there are needy people everywhere. If you are too far away to donate here, please donate whatever you can in your area - food, clothing, money, toys, time, skills - it all makes a huge difference.

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We want to help Blue Lights, how can we?

If you would like to volunteer your time you are welcome to contact us at info@whitewalldesigns.com. We are also always grateful for any blue or green Christmas lights (especially LED's) or extension cords as well as plastic storage bins. We have 501(c)3 non-profit status pending and your donation would be tax deductible and will help us continue to celebrate Christmas and bring in donations to needy children.

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