UPDATE: Check out the video below to see if Nickolas and Nichole’s creation won the company contest.

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s the Christmas season and North Texans are setting out to lighten hearts and lift spirits with festive holiday decorations… nah, just kidding. This story is all about a good old-fashioned rivalry!

Each year the Dallas CPA firm Goldin Peiser & Peiser holds an office decorating competition. It’s nothing really special — there are no trophies or prizes. But this year a couple of workers decided it was no longer “just an honor just to be nominated.”

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Tax Services CPA Nickolas Wolfe and Associate Nichole Miller teamed up — they tried to get others to join in but were brushed off — to enter this year’s contest and finally take down the reigning champions in Audit.

Nichole was basically the architect and designer, while Nick was the construction worker. Nichole went online to find a plan to use as a foundation, then she started brainstorming with her partner. “I wasn’t expecting what Nick was gonna take it to. Because, he decided to do framework and make it into an actual house!”

Spending about two hours a day, every other day, Nick used 1×1’s and 2×2’s to construct a Christmas cottage, complete with window boxes, a fireplace, chimney and roof. The pair is also very proud about leaving a very limited carbon footprint — they say the entire cottage only uses 14 1/2 watts of power.

Remember, Nick is in Tax Services, so time management was key. “It took a little bit of time outside of our normal busy season, per se, to get this done, but again, it was all about taking out Auditing,” he said.

Once the cottage was built it took about six hours to set it up in the office. “I was really nervous on that Saturday… come in here and my expectations were high. My skill-sets [however], I’ve never done anything like this before,” Nick admitted. “I was kinda nervous but as the time grew, ya know, as time went on I got very excited, very happy and here we are.”

Okay, that part about not lightening hearts or lifting spirits isn’t really true.

Nichole says it’s been a blast sharing a fun holiday experience with clients and co-workers. She says the jolly surroundings come in especially handy with the clients. “Their faces light up and they get so excited and they get so happy and cheerful and then we talk about taxes… so it’s a good segue,” she said laughing.

Judges will pick a contest winner on December 19 and with no prize, Nick and Nichole are looking to walk away champs and have bragging rights for a year. “That’s enough for us!” they said.

But apparently this all out holiday duplex won’t be enough for the next competition. In the spirit of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Nichole declared, “We’re going full Griswold next year!!”

(A Footnote: Is anyone else curious that a guy named Nickolas is full of Christmas cheer and building cottages with chimneys? Hmmm…)