Holiday lights contest winner in metro Atlanta to receive $1K

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - ‘Tis the season for Cindy Gebhardt to set up the holiday lights, and for her, the more the merrier.

“I don’t know how many lights, but it takes me about four days probably,” Gebhardt said.

She started the tradition about two decades ago after her son was born and the display on Stratham Drive in Dunwoody has grown every year.

“And so, every year he would want a piece for Christmas and so that’s kind of how we started building it,” Gebhardt said.

This year she was nominated for having some of the best holiday lights in metro Atlanta because of the joy they bring to all who see them.

Michael Ellman wanted to bring light to Christmas decorations around town. So, he started a website called which compiles a list of some of the best locations.

RELATED: Residential Christmas Light Displays in metro Atlanta | 2022

“The amount of dedication that these people put into their homes, I think it should definitely be on display,” Ellman said. “We created it so people can nominate houses whether it’s their own or someone else’s with the highest rated homeowner getting $1,000 and the person who nominated that home getting $500. So, if you nominate your own home, you potentially get $1,500.”

Also in the running is a home in Decatur, Mary Graves spends three months putting up decorations in her yard on Fontaine Circle.

“The lights and the people. They give me so much joy,” Graves said.

And while there is much joy back at the Gebhardt’s home as well, this year will be different for the family after the sudden loss of their 24-year-old son.

“We have a hole in our hearts, but we have a lot of joy. Our neighbors and friends everyone has just been so great to us,” Gebhardt said.