This Neighborhood Goes All-Out with Christmas Lights for a Good Cause

Josh Higginbotham lives in Winding Brook Park, a neighborhood famous for the annual Christmas light show that they’ve been putting on since 1962. As people leave the light show, volunteers collect donations for different charities — up to $25,000 each year.

Video Transcript

Meet Josh: Friendly Neighbor

Mishawaka, Indiana

Josh Higginbotham: It goes back to growing up and coming here as a young child, and every time I would see Christmas lights, I would just kind of get that warm, fuzzy feeling that a lot of people get around Christmas. But for me, Christmas lights in general really symbolize that. And I’ve always been enamored with Christmas lights and to me, the more the better.

Winding Brook Park neighborhood has been hosting an annual Christmas light show since 1962. Thousands of visitors come every December to see the lights.

We always enjoy doing it, and I really enjoy doing it with my family. And now that our kids are getting older, they’re able to help more. It’s a lot of fun.

(Getting Christmas lights ready)

Are they working?

Man: Good job.

Child 1: No.

Josh: No?

Child 2: I can’t believe it.

Josh: Do you know why they’re not working?

Children: Why?

Josh: They weren’t plugged in.

Child 1: Ha ha!

Josh: The people in Winding Brook are really some of the most amazing people that I’ve met in my life, and having our neighborhood feel like it’s part of our extended family is the reason that we’ve stayed here.

(Choral music playing)

(Cars driving through neighborhood, looking at houses decorated in Christmas lights)

It is so fun to be able to hear little kids get excited and just say, “Oh wow, look at that,” or, “Oh, there’s Frosty! I remember him from last year!” And that’s very touching because knowing that in a tiny way, we can do something that makes a 6- or 8-year-old excited is awesome.

There are people that will come, generally in one- or two-hour shifts, and they’ll stand out in the freezing cold, and they’ll smile, and they’ll say, “Merry Christmas,” and they’ll hand out candy canes.  And they’ll do it because they’re raising money for charity, and they’re helping the less fortunate.

Local charities collect up to $25,000 in donations each year from sightseers.

And it’s what keeps me coming back, and it’s what makes me excited to do it every year.

(Family looking at Christmas lights)

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