As Christmas fast approaches, we turn our dad spotlight to Andrew Pointer – a veritable Clark Griswold. Not only is he a major Christmas decoration enthusiast, he’s a loving father and lover of holiday traditions. For those families that enjoy touring around Reno and drinking in the Christmas lights and decorations, Andrew offers a hidden hot spot. We got a chance to find out what it takes to create a winter wonderland, and what makes Andrew tick as a father.
1. Your house has an epic volume and variety of lights and decorations. Can you tell us about what you’ve created, what people can expect to see, and the effort that went into it?
My number one goal with our display is to strike the imagination and excitement in children who see it. At the same time, I love keeping the spirit alive in the older generations with many vintage decorations. I try to make a display that is full of color, flash and character. With the LED icicles along the house’s roof line and all through the trees, it somewhat sets an outline to the 50+ vintage blow-mold characters throughout the yard. I’ve created a display that I feel really strikes a Christmas fantasy mindset full of colors and characters.
This display generally takes a full 5-7 days to set up completely. Usually, it’s hard to get full days installing everything so it ends up being off and on for two weeks. There are around 100 extension cords, 80 rebar stakes, thousands and thousands of lights, and 4 filled electrical circuits feeding everything.
Along with a beautiful display, we have provided a Community Food Pantry donation barrel as well as a ‘Letters to Santa’ mailbox with templates for the kids to fill out and bring back. Santa goes through the letters one by one and writes all of the kids back. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when they open those letters from Santa..
Our home is at 10878 Pebble Hill Dr in Damonte Ranch. We run our lights nightly from 6:00-9:30
2. Why do you put so much energy into these Christmas decorations?
As a child, we would make the annual family drive through Hidden Valley to look at lights. Places like the well-known Bergstrom’s home with the giant tree sticking out of the roof and all of the homes on ‘Candy Cane Lane’ struck my imagination and excitement for Christmas. As an adult, I understand that displays like those, and ours, are a huge factor in keeping the Christmas spirit alive in the younger generations, as the Hidden Valley homes did for me.
I’d like to see displays like these and for people to have a lot of Christmas spirit when I’m an old man. A way to instill that spirit into children is to provide an exciting, fantasy-type Christmas display to really keep their inner elf alive. My wish is for everybody to make Christmas great because family and friend gatherings mean the most in life. In addition, I feel that Christmas lights and decorations make the season that much better. I want my daughter to be able to enjoy amazing Christmas seasons just like I did as a kid and feel like having a great Christmas light display is a huge part of that.
3. Tell us about your daughter. What has been her response to the lights and decorations?
We have taken our daughter, Emberli, out to see the lights at every stage of getting them up and running. The first few nights we were lit up, the display was only around 50% completed. At a year old you can see the curiosity in her eyes. She would pick out a part of the display, usually a blow-mold snowman, and point at it while smiling, as if she was proud of it and wanted us to look at what she saw.
Now that the display is completed she has been getting her paws on some of the lit candy canes and the driveway arches. She will grow up being her Daddy’s #1 helper with Christmas decorations and someday she will be very overwhelmed with the quantity of hand-me-down decorations. The display puts off such a great lighting effect that we decided to do our family Christmas photo surrounded by 50 blow-mold characters.
The Fatherly Fast 5
1. What was your initial reaction when you found out you were going to be a father?
Pure excitement. I knew my wife was going to be an excellent mother and felt like we both have great qualities that would go very far in raising an amazing child. I wanted nothing more than for the baby to be healthy and we were very blessed that she is healthy, happy and full of personality.
2. What’s something you learned from your dad that’s made you who you are today?
In my day-to-day life I constantly recognize the things I do and say, the way I act, talk, and care are things that I’ve learned and picked up from my Father. I strive to be the man my Father is. He has taught me how to be an excellent husband, Father and friend and I’m so happy to have followed his foot steps and becoming the person I am today.
3. What’s been your funniest or most memorable moment as a father so far?
My baby is constantly making me laugh because she’s figuring out how to push our buttons, which gets more funny everyday. I would have to say she really pulled my heart strings when she first said Da Da to me. I was on Daddy duty that day and we were having some lunch. She looked me right in the eyes and called me “Da Da” a few times (which I did get on video) and it brought tears to my eyes. Thus far, that has got to be the most memorable moment.
4. What is your favorite part of being a dad?
I make my father very proud with the person I am today, and even though my daughter is only 13 months old she makes me very proud to be her Daddy. My wife and I are already picking up on so many qualities that she gets from me and I love every bit of it. She is my little mini-me who has brought on a new outlook and meaning of life. I feel like I was put on earth for her, to be her dad and to love and raise her wholeheartedly.
5. What do you hope your daughter has learned from you by the time she’s an adult?
She is already showing us her Mom and Dad’s strong, independent personality which we love. There are a lot of things I can hope she learns from me like cooking, golf, fitness and Christmas lights but I really want her to enjoy the things in life that she wants. As long as she becomes a respectful, strong woman who is kind hearted and loves her family like her Mom and Dad, I will forever be a happy man.