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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – For many families, it isn’t Christmas without visiting the Interlochen holiday lights display.

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Many hours go into making homes look just right ahead of the holiday season and for some longtime residents there has never been a time when their home has been dark in December.

Sprinkled in among the green and red bulbs, and white, twinkling lights — there’s a proud flag of the Lone Star State.

Neighbor Keith Reed said, “You can’t have anything without this flag.”

When you come across a little Cajun flavor, with a custom made crawfish boil, you can probably guess where Elizabeth Beagan’s family is from. “With me being from southern Louisiana, and something to remember my Dad by, I came up with this theme Christmas on the Bayou,” she said.

You can call the Interlochen holiday lights display ‘quirky,’ but residents in the Arlington neighborhood call it tradition.

On one corner, a snoring Santa and a smiling Mrs. Claus have greeted children in Interlochen for nearly three decades.

Homeowner Vernon Porter explained that time has taken a toll. “Mrs. Claus, her legs are falling off. We had to operate on them,” he said laughing.

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Porter’s family was the second to move into the neighborhood. “As the older people slow down, like myself, the younger people come in and take over and it works out real well for us.”

Though it’s a little harder for him to wrap the lights around the rooftop, it’s children and their families that keep the 38-year-old tradition alive at the Porter household. “One of the things that makes us appreciate it is the people — they come by here and thank us for it.”

For nearly two decades, even the Christmas after the September 11th attacks, Reed has also proudly made his home bright for the bright-eyed kids that pop their heads out of car windows.

When asked how long he’s carried on the tradition Reed said, “About 17 years.”

The Interlochen holiday lights officially begin shining December 17 and will continue through Christmas night. The light displays will be on for viewing from 7 to 11 p.m.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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