Could Charles Daniels' Columbia home be the best “decked” house in the country?
Daniels' home, which features almost 300,000 lights, was chosen as one of the 24 finalists in Patch's nationwide Deck the House contest. The house is located near the 5000 block of Durham Road East in Columbia.
"I've been decorating for at least 13 years," said Daniels, who previously worked as an electrical engineer. "I've been retired for 13 years, so I have the time to put together a very nice Christmas display."
Daniels, 73, uses elaborate homemade arches to light up his driveway, hangs massive lighted Christmas trees in varying colors, adorns his lawn with a river of lights, and decorates his house Griswold-style with lights framing windows, doors and the roof.
"The video that was submitted [to Patch] was OK," said Daniels, "but you really have to see the display in-preson because it's jaw-dropping."
Daniels has set up a straw-covered viewing area in front of his home for gawkers and even allows people to walk down his arch-lit driveway.
"I guess part of the display is I have the opportunity to walk out and get to know the people who stop," said Daniels, who occasionally dons a Santa cap and says hello to people viewing the lights. "I enjoy going out and talking to the people and finding out how they are enjoying the holiday season. It's one of those warm and fuzzy things."
This is the second year Daniels has been selected as a finalist for the contest.
As Patch enters the final stage of the contest, we’re looking for the one home so spectacularly decorated that it could be the national grand prize winner of our contest—and it could be Daniels' home from right here in Columbia.
Until Dec. 27, readers can vote in our contest to help Daniels' entry win $100,000 for local schools.
To do so, visit this page to browse a gallery of the finalists and cast your vote. On Dec. 28, we’ll announce the grand prize winner of our Deck the House contest.
So, now’s your chance to tell us who has the best “decked” house in the country. Vote today!