Category Archives: Uncategorized

Believe in the Holiday Magic

This is the 12th consecutive year of the display. In those 12 years, we are starting to reach multiple generations within families who visit.  It is hard to imagine that kids that were six years old when they first saw the display are now 18 and perhaps returning home from their first year in college.  Those that were teenagers when they first saw the display in 2002 are now bringing their own children and parents who first brought their own kids to see the display, are now bringing their grandchildren.    (All of a sudden, I feel very old  🙂 )  I am certain all of these returning visitors Believe.

For me, there are two groups of visitors that I am happy the display has touched.  These two groups while very different in some ways, are also very similar.  Children with special needs – like autism or Downs Syndrome, and elderly adults that are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.   In both cases, there is something magical about the music and light combination that strikes a chord with them and I know they Believe.  For the kids, they are innocent and simply don’t know how not to Believe.  For the adults, I think it helps them remember they did Believe at some point in their life.  I was lucky enough to witness this with my own father, who before his death at the age of 92, suffered with a form of dementia.  He was able to visit on many Christmas Eves and sit in our living room and enjoy the lights throughout the evening.   His last years were spent in an assisted living home but his viewing continued though as the home would drive a small bus load of residents to the display every December.  I know he Believed.

Give yourself the opportunity to escape for a few minutes, enjoy the music, enjoy the lights and I am willing to bet, you will Believe too.

Don’t forget, there will be a supply of “I Believe Bells” available through Christmas night for anybody that Believes.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
-Greg Parcell


Toys for Tots

There is still time to make a toy donation for Toys for Tots.  We have received many great toys this year, but even more would be wonderful.  We have never asked for any other types of donations – just toys so that as many kids as possible have something to open on Christmas morning.  Your generosity is great appreciated.


Believe in the Magic

I get asked many times why I continue to do the display every year (this is the 12th year).   There are many reasons – but here is one of them:  For the last several years, always on the first Friday in December, an anonymous local couple, …donates a huge bundle of wonderful toys.  They bring dozens of toys for both boys and girls of all ages.  It is simply an act of generosity that will mean dozens of local kids will have at least one present to open on Christmas day.

What makes this annual event even more magical, is the fact this couple are also ninjas.  They pull in the driveway, unload bags and bags of toys and I never see or hear them.  Today, I was working in my office – not more than 10 feet away from where they were unloading –and I never knew it.

One the themes of our display is “Believe in the Holiday Magic” – the kindness of this couple is why I believe.

Ready or not . . .

Ready or not, our 12th year will be starting soon. If the weather cooperates over the next 10 days, we should be ready to go on Saturday, November 30th.

We are continuing to be a drop off location for Toys for Tots. All donated toys go to local Fox Valley kids through local charities. Also, for those that Believe, don’t forget to take your ‘I Believe Bell’ from our container in the driveway.

Live video will be streaming again this year too. You might catch a glimpse of us setting up or see some preliminary testing starting sometime next week.2012 - LED Tree

Stay tuned and check back for more updates!

Welcome to the redesigned TwasTheNightBefore.Com

The website, which is now 11 years old,  has been designed to support multiple browsers, mobile devices and will be much easier to maintain and update.  My preliminary testing has also shown that the live video stream will appear on almost any device – PC or Mac, Android or iPhone.

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving will be here soon and in less than 30 days, hopefully all the lights will be on too.

Check back often for updates as the month progresses!
Front Yard