A Gift of Light: 37 Years at the Poulos House
The holidays are a time of light.
There was a time when lighting the night sky was a miracle. A time when holding back the darkness was a symbol of faith, representing the triumph of good over evil.
We no longer think of holding back the night as a miracle or that filling a winter’s night with light is representative of anything other than beauty, yet that is where the tradition of Christmas lights originated. It was a way to symbolize the miracle of good defeating the evil of darkness.
We have come a long way from candles burning on a Christmas tree, which was never the safest way to illuminate the night. We trim our homes in lights, we have lawn decorations that include inflated Saint Nicks and snowmen and religious symbols of every type.
It is both an acknowledgment of the season and a gift to ourselves.
As gifts of light and holiday spirit go, it would be hard to surpass the 37 years of lights and Christmas decorations that the Poulos family has given the Outer Banks.
The property sits by the side of the road on Ocean Acres. That’s the road that leads to Nags Head Woods, and the home is just over a hill as the street turns into a dirt road.
There you’ll find maybe two acres filled with every holiday light and decoration imaginable.
Noah’s Ark with animals walking up the gangplank greet visitors as they pass under the lighted archway. There is a Chanukah Menorah with lights beside it that read “Season’s Greetings.” Christmas elves and Santas too numerous to count are scattered across the lawn. Even the roof of the Poulos house is covered in blinking lights.
It is an illuminated wonderland, and the joy that it brings is apparent everywhere. Couples stroll through the paths, occasionally stopping to look around them. Children squeal with delight, calling out for their parents to look at this or that.
The Poulos lights have even become a favorite of teenagers, and you can almost watch their sophisticated veneers give way to the innocence of childhood as they walk through the decorations.
Of all the gifts that could be given, this is one of the most remarkable. The Poulos family does not charge anyone for the delight they have given thousands of visitors over the years. There is a collection jar however—the electric bills run into the thousands, so a dollar or two in the jar seems like a small enough contribution to the spirit of the season.
To get to the Poulos house, turn west at Pigman’s Barbecue in Kill Devil Hills and follow Ocean Acres Drive. The house is just over the rise in a hill when the street turns into a dirt road. On busy nights, parking can be a challenge. Expect a bit of a walk to the house, so dress accordingly.