Holiday lights abound in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s still plenty of time to enjoy a popular holiday tradition: Christmas lights and taking a slow drive to see them.

KRQE News 13 tracked down some of the best-decorated homes in Albuquerque to share with viewers.

Some homeowners go above and beyond to spread a little Christmas cheer, with everything from lights to letters to Santa and even a Christmas countdown. They say it’s a tradition that never gets old.

It lights up the entire street.

“It’s gotten bigger over time, little more every year,” said homeowner Jimmy Padilla of Roan Avenue Southwest near Central and 114th.

It’s probably the only home in southwest Albuquerque, perhaps the whole city, where you can walk through rows of candy canes and spot Saint Nick riding an elephant instead of a reindeer.

“I got the little North Pole right here and different little areas to make little scenes,” Padilla said.

His Westgate home has become a destination for families looking to make Christmas memories.

“It just looks like they put so much effort and a lot of work into it. I want to know where they store it all,” said visitor Jaime Sparkman.

For Padilla, it’s a labor of love that’s continued for more than a decade.

“It’s real nice, it’s real nice to have the people come over, year after year. That’s what’s cool about it seeing people come back and forth,” Padilla said.

Meanwhile, in the Ventana Ranch neighborhood to the north, you’ll find a variety of themed-displays.

Some like to keep it simple. Others dedicate this time to their favorite football team. Many just go for a classic vibe and they do it up big.

“The neighborhood really they got into it. A lot of them came by and said, see what you started,” said homeowner Davis Plourde.

Plourde said he’s lost count of the number of lights and all the extension cords. He’s just focused on bringing joy to all who walk or drive by.

“I’m almost 79 and my motivation is stronger than my health right now but because of this here. That gets me going. That gives me the energy,” Plourde said.

The time put in to making these homes bright pays off.

“It really does, it helps us get in the Christmas spirit and driving around with your teenager talking it just brings us together,” Sparkman said.

Normally, Padilla turns his display off at 10 p.m., but for Christmas Eve he said he will probably leave the lights on until past midnight. He doesn’t plan to take them down until the New Year.

Both homeowners we spoke with Saturday said they start preparing their light display a month out.

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