Holiday light tradition passes down, gets brighter.
Gavin Plasschaert doesn’t mind an annual spike in his
electric bill. He considers it a gift to his neighbors.
“They get free light for a month,” he said, referring to the
glow given off by the hundreds of Christmas lights on his Edgehurst Lane home.
When you come down the block, you can’t miss the Plasschaert
home. A white-light carriage bears moving gift boxes next to a lighted herd of
deer drinking from a brook created from blue and green lights. Cotton covers
patches of green to create a snowy landscape where snowmen roast marshmallows
and children cavort with reindeer and elves.
On the house itself, the garage door is covered with a
tableau of Santa’s workshop; an oversized wreath graces an upstairs window
alongside festive decorations, all brilliantly lit with the colors and high
wattage of the season.
Over the edge of the roof, a snow machine shoots out fluffy
white puffs that descend on children, both lighted and real, the human ones
dancing in the driveway.
While neighbors walked by to admire his handiwork, several
little girls, members of his daughter’s Daisy Girl Scout troop, ran through the
decorations enroute to a holiday pizza party. The Plasscharts have two
children; daughter Mackenzie, 6, and son Zach, 4.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Gavin’s father, the
multiple Emmy-winning choreographer Alex Plasschaert, who died last year,
inspired his children every year with eye-popping displays at their homes in
the San Fernando and Santa Clarita
“He would have everything, he’d make reindeer fly over the
house,” Gavin said, laughing. "You know, Dad was always a showman."
When Gavin and Julie Plasschaert bought this house five
years ago, they decided it was a good place to put on a show and have been
collecting Christmas items to add to their collection ever since. They’ve both
lost count of how many items they have, especially the snowmen that fill every
room of the house without exception.
Plasschaert didn’t quite follow in his father’s footsteps,
choosing the firefighting field instead of dancing. His passion is reflected in
a firefighter ornament here and there and with a custom-made wooden figurine on
the lawn, painted by a retired firefighter from the East Coast. The figure’s
helmet number – 105 – is Plasschaert’s station with the Los
Angeles city Fire Department, located Fallbrook and
Victory in Woodland Hills, and suspenders bear the now-familiar symbol of the
fire brotherhood – FDNY on one side and LAFD on the other.