Wall Street Journal: High-Tech Holiday Light Display Draws Everyone But the Skeptics

Wall Street Journal scoop by Charles Forelle - Google copy
christmas hoax
Richard Hackett photo that went around the world
Reporting by Melanie Sidwell, Longmont Times-Call

On Christmas Eve 2004, my wife and I helped our 6 and 3-year old boys put out milk and gluten-free cookies (they have Celiac Disease) and composed a note for "Santa" ... and in the morning, our chimney was open, the milk and cookies were gone, and "Santa" had written a reply ... plus left each kid 7 presents. Wellll ... as we all know, "Santa" is a hoax, but we assure our kids he is real anyway because Santa is fun.

Meanwhile, bazillions of Internet sufers from around the world (really!) were having fun turning the 17,000 christmas lights on and off on my "house" ... not knowing that two days before Christmas, I had sent The Wall Street Journal an Email saying that while my "Internet controlled Christmas lights webcam" was pretty cool, there was another side to the story that I wanted to talk to them about. So as my kids opened presents from "Santa" that morning, I knew that at least one hoax was about to be revealed. I do plan to continue the "Santa" hoax for at least another year with my older son, and hopefully a couple of years with the younger son, but the time had come to disclose the hoax that people weren't really turning the lights on and off on my house for christmas/2004 ... click here to read the entire hoax saga.

wsj article

2005 Update: I'm doing it for real this holiday season with three webcams (3 more than 2004!) so you can not only view the 26,000 christmas lights in real-time, but also turn them on and off ... plus I'm raising money for raising money for Celiac Disease Research. Go check out the christmas webcam ... and my headline this year would be High Tech Holiday Light Display Says 'Bring on the Skeptics' ;-)