Published in the Southeast Missourian, Dec. 11, 1994:
Robert and Donna Komorech, 1717 Bertling, love to decorate for Christmas. Their display includes a Christmas tree, a sleigh, reindeer and an array of lights. They also won the Holiday of Lights contest. (Don Shrubshell ~Southeast Missourian archive)
FAMILIES LOVE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS
By BILL HEITLAND
Donna Komorech knew just how important Christmas was to her husband Robert when they built their home in Cape Girardeau six years ago.
"He made sure there were twice as many electrical outlets upstairs to handle all of the Christmas lights he planned to put up each year," Donna said. "Christmas is the biggest holiday season for him."
The elaborate Christmas light display at the Komorech home, located at 1717 Bertling, was one of the 1994 Holiday of Lights winners. The display includes a Christmas tree, a sleigh, reindeer and an array of lights that has the Komorech stamp of approval.
The contest is sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee.
Robert Komorech made all of the lights that adorn his home by hand. He drew various styles of lights and then made each one according to his specifications.
"He's a teacher at Meridian High School in Illinois, so he's used to doing creative projects," she said.
The Christmas project at home involves a painstaking process. "It takes a while to put up," Donna said. "We start the day after Thanksgiving and, weather permitting, usually get it up in about five days."
While Robert uses his creative energy on the outside of the Komorech home, Donna decorates the interior with the help of her children.
Bill and Janice Wilkins, 3906 Eagle Ridge Dr. was a winner in the Holiday of Lights contest. The family has lots of mechanical decorations outside the house, with four trees inside the house. (Don Shrubshell ~ Southeast Missourian archive)
Richard and Mary Jo Dirnberger have been decorating their home at 3602 Julie for the past five years. "It's a family tradition that started 17 years ago when we lived on William," Mary Jo said.
"Three of our sons who live in Cape Girardeau help us and our other son, who lives in St. Charles, comes down and helps us decorate the house with lights the day after Thanksgiving," she said. "Each year we add something new."
The Dirnbergers were somewhat surprised to learn that they were winners of the Holiday of Lights contest. "I had no idea they were going to be judging our home," she said. "We really decorate the house because we enjoy it so much. It was a pleasant surprise to learn we were one of the homes to win."
Raymond and Patty Pullium, who live at 1831 College, create many of the ornaments that makes the exterior of their home stand out during Christmas.
There is a choo-choo train, a Christmas tree, angels hanging from trees and holiday greetings such as Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth in lights.
"We usually do something different each year," Patty said. "Next year we'll probably do something new with the deer on the roof. The more we add the longer it takes to put up, but it's a lot of fun and a good tradition."
Bill and Janice Wilkins, whose Christmas display at 3906 Eagle Ridge Drive was named one of the lights winners, designate decorating responsibilities.
"He does the outside of the house and I do the inside," Janice said. Outside the home is a nativity scene with Mary and Joseph, a shepherd and animals. There is also a display of Santa waving his arms as he rides in his sleigh.
"We've got a lot of mechanical things outside the house and a lot of trees inside," she said. There are four trees inside the home. "I'll have one white tree and three green ones. One will have clear lights and another will have gold and red decorations."
The Wilkins family has accumulated so many Christmas ornaments and lights, they have to use up most of the storage space in their attic to keep it all together.
"I don't think we have any more room on the house for any more lights," Janice said. "But next year we'll probably find a way to add something new."
Mark and Susan Matthews, 1428 Whitener, were a winner in the 1994 Holiday of Lights contest. (Don Shrubshell ~Southeast Missourian archive)