Photo credit: Lights on Hiawatha/Facebook
Erick Schules is an old soul. There can be no other explanation how a 22-year old young man can create an elaborate Christmas display that transports a person of any age to the wonderment of being a child.
Erick was just 11 years old the first time he asked his parents if he could decorate their house for Christmas. They indulged him and let him go nuts; dad Kevin helped him with the high stuff. “As soon as Christmas was over, he started planning for the next year,” says mom, Terri.
Over the years, the array of lights and décor has become more elaborate and has transformed into a walk-through event down Memory Lane.
“I find all kinds of treasures from Christmases past and I just have to add them to my stash,” says Erick. The display includes both new and antique Christmas decorations, an early 1960s truck, driven by Santa himself, and a snow-making machine for photo ops. There are too many lights to mention.
Eleven years into his seasonal “hobby,” Erick’s whimsy attracts people from all over the area. Erick proudly greets his guests and challenges everyone to a scavenger hunt.
Erick has no intentions of stopping, and in fact, has made big expansions to the display this year. So, if you’ve visited in years past, you haven’t seen anything like this year’s display. Dad still helps with the high stuff, but all of the hard work falls on Erick. You can see on his face that he doesn’t mind. He’s a young man who doesn’t just decorate his childhood home, he creates an experience and is making memories for those who wander into his Christmas wonderland.
As always, the big guy himself, Santa, will be making appearances throughout the season. And, keep an eye out for Santa’s helper, Buddy the Elf, too!
For Santa and Buddy’s schedule of appearances, please visit the Lights on Hiawatha Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LightsOnHiawatha.
Erick’s efforts to bring Christmas to life must be experienced to appreciate how special it is truly.
This magical walk-through of Christmases past and present is located at 36 Hiawatha Road in Hi-Nella, NJ.
You can’t miss it when you turn onto the street!
The display is open from Saturday, November 26, 2022, through Christmas.
Donations Benefit AWA
Erick does take donations, but this selfless young man doesn’t keep a penny of it.
All monies taken in by his efforts go straight to the Animal Welfare Association.