Holiday magic has arrived at the Kona Christmas House
December 10, 2022, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated December 10, 7:33 AM
Two-and-half-year-old Theadore stood with his mouth and eyes wide open as he soaked in all the multi-colored lights on the 23-foot Christmas tree.
The look on his face was magic.
Theadore and his mother were at the “Kona Christmas House” on Piena Place in Pualani Estates in Kailua-Kona. The lights of the house owned by the Longs can be seen from Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.
Turning into the neighborhood, motorists are greeted with a handful of homes decorated with Christmas lights and holiday yard decorations.
But nothing compares to the breathtaking Kona Christmas House, with more than 30,000 lights, 22 Christmas trees, a train set, a snow machine on the roof and a bouncy globe with an inflatable snowman inside.
“We do something different and new every year,” homeowner Craig Long said. “We always want it to be interactive.”
The setup for the Kona Christmas House begins before Halloween. It’s a family affair that includes Long’s wife and 11-year-old daughter. The goal is to turn the lights on the first week of December.
It’s now a 17-year family tradition and part of their own Christmas celebration to bring holiday joy to the community.
For Alicia and Nathanial Baldock this couldn’t be more true. While the couple have come to the home in past years, Thursday night was the first time they took their two boys, 2-year-old Liam and 1-year-old Asher, to see the lights and toys.
Alicia Baldock said they wanted to visit the home as a way to celebrate the Christmas season as a family.
“It creates wonder and excitement for our kids,” Alicia Baldock said.
In previous years, Nathaniel Baldock said the globe was his favorite but he is now amazed at the sheer size of the presentation.
“I love that it’s a big community thing,” Nathaniel Baldock said.
With the front and side yards dedicated to the holiday, Alicia Baldock said there’s so much detail and so much to look at. She added: “The owner is so welcoming and it’s for kids and pure enjoyment.”
One of the new items in the lawn this year is a frozen ice lake with Snoopy and a penguin iceskating. Long also ordered an arch from Lowe’s that he plans to put up in his side yard as a backdrop for photos.
Many of the trees are themed. One is for dogs with a small bucket of doggy treats. Also new this year is a tree his daughter dedicated to her AYSO soccer team. Ornaments have the names of all her teammates.
The Longs also hand out hot chocolate and candy canes.
As Christmas Eve gets closer, the nightly crowds grow. Come visit the Kona Christmas House, located at 75-6202 Piena Place. Lights switch on at 6 p.m. every evening.