Video: National spotlight for West Seattle’s brightest holiday lights

That’s what it looks like when the lights come on each night at the Menashe Family‘s Beach Drive home – where you’ll find West Seattle’s biggest and brightest Christmas lights display. You won’t usually hear that loud set of oohs and aahs, though – tonight, the lights had a special audience: Family and friends there for the videotaping of a cable TV show. They had to throw the switch a few times to get extra angles, like this:

Here’s the camera crew:

Really important to note – the show, which we’re told features several spectacular holiday homes around the country including the Menashes’, won’t air until NEXT holiday season – as in, late 2010; it’ll be on TLC. Too much production required to put it together in time for air this holiday season. But you can go see the Menashes’ display any night in person; as has now become an annual WSB tradition, we asked Josh Menashe to give us the 2-minute tour of what’s new in the display this year:

The Menashe display is along the southern stretch of Beach Drive – no direct access from the east but you can either hit Beach Drive from the Lowman Beach area and head north, or from the Jacobsen Road end and drive south. Here’s a map. Meantime, we’ll be spotlighting lots of light displays – let us know about yours, or something cool you’ve seen – here’s the archive so far, from this year and the past few years.

32 Replies to "Video: National spotlight for West Seattle's brightest holiday lights"

  • CB December 3, 2009 (11:20 pm)

    Looks like Seattle City Light is going to have a merry christmas.

    • WSB December 3, 2009 (11:25 pm)

      And this year, if you get a chance to listen to the last clip, maybe a little bit less merry for SCL – they’ve started to phase in the LEDs!

  • Mike December 3, 2009 (11:59 pm)


  • nmb December 4, 2009 (12:15 am)

    What an incredible waste of electricity.

  • Mike December 4, 2009 (2:58 am)

    You call it a waste, I call it great holiday fun and the Menashe family pays for that electricity so more POWER to them.

  • r December 4, 2009 (6:25 am)

    It looks nice, but couldn’t the money and time that it took to decorate (including the power) be better used helping a neighbor person in need? To me the ones that compete to have a giant display are no different than the folks that drive a Hummer around town.

    Get real people, set an example save energy.

  • Brian December 4, 2009 (9:00 am)

    I’m sure that NW Harvest or the local West Seattle food bank could use the money wasted on this.

    It looks tacky and is wasteful. More power to them I guess. It’s their money.

    • WSB December 4, 2009 (9:19 am)

      Tacky is in the eyes of the beholder. We’re thrilled to feature holiday lights here every year (and at pretty much every TV station where I ever worked) because personally, they make my heart sing, and I know there are more than a few folks out there who still feel the same way, even though things have changed from my childhood back when dinosaurs walked the earth – seemed like almost every house had lights when I was a kid, even in Hawaii. Especially here in the cloud-covered Northwest, it’s a bit of light in the middle of the darkest season. And to the point of “couldn’t the money be spent better elsewhere?” a bit of context if you don’t already know this from participating in community events and reading the programs etc. – the Menashes, like many businesspeople in West Seattle (including us), do contribute to community concerns, sponsor events, donate items to school auctions, etc. And if you listen to the last clip, you’ll note they’ll be transitioning to more LEDs, which use a tiny fragment of the traditional holiday-light power. P.S. to light fans, we might have a new video clip soon from the set-to-music folks on Charlestown … TR

  • Brian December 4, 2009 (9:27 am)

    Exactly why I put “More power to them I guess. It’s their money.”

  • mark December 4, 2009 (10:17 am)

    Brian, the same thing can be said about buying a luxury car, going on vacation, going out to eat, etc etc. Of course the food bank could use the money we all “waste”.

  • lite lover December 4, 2009 (10:18 am)

    who? what? why? with the LEDs??? I seem them everywhere.

  • Brian December 4, 2009 (10:21 am)

    again, Mark… exactly why I put “More power to them I guess. It’s their money.”

    Why do I feel like I’m being scolded? It’s my damn opinion.

  • jiggers December 4, 2009 (11:29 am)

    And why would it be anyones right to tell other people to do with their hard earned money. Go make your own wealth

  • mark December 4, 2009 (11:39 am)

    Brian, I didn’t intend to scold you, but its like complaining about the weather…

  • Brian December 4, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    Jiggers… because I can? Why do people argue via the interweb?

    Mark… good comparison! :)

  • Tonya December 4, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    I think Brian the reason you got the response you did is b/c people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. It sounds very elitist and reaks of hypocrisy

    Do you own anything? If so, I am sure the food bank or goodwill will take it off your hands.

    And thats’ just my opinion :)

  • nmb December 4, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    WSB, just because people have been putting xmas lights on their houses for years and it makes people feel good doesn’t justify it. If a person has been using heroin for years and it made them feel good, I wouldn’t say “hey, that’s great, keep it up!” A harsh analogy, I know, but let me explain…

    Contrary to Brian’s argument, my comment about waste has roots in environmental concerns. Think of all the billions upon billions of xmas lights burning throughout the night all over this country from Thanksgiving until sometime in January. What’s the carbon footprint of that fuzzy feeling? And sure, more and more people are using energy-efficient LED lights, but it’s still, in my opinion, a pointless waste of something we desperately need to conserve: energy.

    I know that we won’t save the planet by turning off all of the xmas lights, but every little bit counts. And something as frivolous as hanging lights on a house is an extremely easy choice to make for reducing our collective impact on our world.

  • KNM December 4, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    I for one am delighted to see the lights every year. If we are not to splurge on anything, wouldn’t it be a boring existence? Since the Menashe’s are paying for it and there’s no real harm done AND it brings holiday cheer, magical sights and tradition, then what’s the big deal?

  • nmb December 4, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    I am not suggesting not “splurging” on anything? Besides, is “splurging” the only thing that validates one’s existence? The notion that our existence is only justified when paying homage to excess is preposterous.

    While the Menashe’s are paying for it and have every right to do so, they are by no means the only ones doing it. The waste involved in their display may seem miniscule, but when multiplied by the millions of American households that so the same thing, *that* is the problem. It would never be a problem at all if only one family in this country drove an SUV to work every day.

    The harm comes in the form of individuals believing that their own actions don’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

    And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m perfectly capable of being cheery without needing some twinkly lights or redundant noise that gets passed off as “music”. (Can’t you tell?)

  • anti-scrooge December 4, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    Bah, humbug!

    Happy Holidays!

  • not grinch December 4, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    not a grinch here-
    I like the lights and thanks to the family for making such a beautiful display !

    If we want to talk about killing the environment with the holidays, just think of all the people traveling.. we could go on and on. I’ll do my part and not fly, in fact I usually only fly once a year.

    unless you hate the environment, don’t fly for the holidays, don’t drive over the pass, don’t drive TO the pass to go skiing, and don’t wrap any presents cause that is a waste too.

    ok done with my sarcasm.

    “I must stop this Christmas from coming… but how? I MEAN… in what way? ” the grinch

  • It was magical! December 4, 2009 (4:50 pm)

    It was a magical last night! And I would like to say, that not only does the Menashe family give to the food bank; they give to more charities, organizations, fundraisers, people in need, etc. that I can count on my fingers and toes. This year, they will bring more joy to people of all ages, because of their hard work and energy they put into their light display. I mean people are proposed to in front of this sparkling display :) So go on Menashe family! And thank you for all your hard work and dedication this Christmas season!

  • Been here a long time December 4, 2009 (4:57 pm)

    This family has had light displays for YEARS. My friends 27 year old granddaughter remembers seeing the lights on that house ever since she was a little kid. Why are people angry about it now?
    This is the one time of year people celebrate peace on earth good will towards man.
    Does this argument seem ironic to anyone else?
    As far as carbon foot print, well; industries dumping lead waste in the Duwamish river, clear cutting our tree canopy for more condos that aren’t selling, driving to the store when we live 3 blocks away…. stuff like that is a very huge mark.
    Maybe the owners of the house do other things to offset their light use. Maybe they are avid recyclers that puts me to shame. Maybe they ride bikes more then drive cars, Maybe they donate money to the work party’s that restores the wetlands.
    I guess until we demand to see their check book, we shall never know.
    ….I am thankful someone is still enjoying their family traditions and remembering the season.

  • CF December 4, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    The Menashe’s do a lot in terms of supporting the community, local schools, and churches. If they also want to brighten the holiday season with a little magic of lights, I think it is great. More communitles would be a lot better off if they had a family like the Menashe’s as an active member.

  • nmb December 4, 2009 (11:03 pm)

    Let’s be perfectly clear, I am not suggesting that the Menashe’s are guilty of destroying our planet. None of us are individually, but we ALL are collectively. This phenomenon of festooning houses with as many lights as possible is complicit in a much large scheme of wanton wastefulness. As long as we are capable of justifying the waste of so much energy for a little seasonal happiness, we are dooming ourselves. I guess all I can say at this point is I hope that all the joy that people derive from this Beach Drive house is worth it when the house is inundated by rising sea levels.

  • no skiing December 5, 2009 (8:44 am)

    I think that ski slopes should shut down.
    that would reduce the waste of energy and people could donate all the extra money that they would otherwise spend on equipment and lift tickets to those in need.

    think about it, how much energy does it take to run all those ski lifts? and how about all the gas to power the ski patrol snow mobiles? nobody NEEDS to ski. if you need exercise, run around your block. if you find joy in skiing you should do it elsewhere because the sea levels are rising.

  • nmb December 5, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Another excellent idea! Keep ’em comin’!

  • Been here a long time December 5, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    Please nmb,
    the last bit about- “I hope that all the joy that people derive from this Beach Drive house is worth it when the house is inundated by rising sea levels.”
    ….a little snide?
    That doesn’t help people accept climate change. It just turns people off.
    Yes, a skidoo does take gas and puts out exhaust; but not as much as the 15 new mega cruise ships that are starting service. We can all do that sort of comparative damage argument all day.
    There are many ways to off set the carbon foot print. Use less pesticides, plant trees, support green space in the community, walk more, buy local produce, support ocean health bill-(since our ocean is our largest carbon sink)
    We can work to preserve wetlands,(another carbon sink) ask our own governor to support local farms and stop paving over our fertile land for strip malls.
    These actions greatly reduces the carbon foot print. It’s easier to get more support for environment by letting people what they can do, instead of banning everything and guilting people. What is worst, a ski slope, or clear cutting the amazon for McDonald’s cattle space?
    There are reports in the media telling the public that owning pets or having kids and adding to the population is killing our planet. Media can go on about the toll of owning a computer, wearing nylons or make-up, golf courses, large buildings, drinking milk because of the methane from cows in dairy farming …. ect……
    Yes, damage comparison can go on forever.
    If the list of “can’t” gets so long that people can’t be people, and enjoy their time on this earth then the public throws up their hands and say, “fine, bring on the apocalypse.”
    In the past, I’ve seen how a lack of hope brings on frustration and inaction. Then the environment really looses.
    Global change is very serious but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Christmas lights can be off set in other ways.
    So sorry to be so long posted. Thank you.

  • nmb December 5, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    Humanity did just fine before the advent of computers, nylons, make-up, golf courses, large buildings, and yes, even xmas lights. The problem our modern society has is that we mistake “wants” for “needs”.

    And I’m not proposing that we ban xmas lights or any of the other items listed herein. All I’m doing is asking people to question: “y’know, do we really NEED to cover our house with 10,000 strands of light bulbs? If there were no xmas lights on the houses in our neighborhood, would we really throw up our hands and welcome the apocalypse?” Really?

  • Brian Waid December 6, 2009 (8:12 pm)

    Just to chime in on two points–(1) the Menashe’s have a tremendous dedication to community, that includes extraordinary support for many, many charitable causes. They are incredibly selfless. (2) the light display did NOT originate with them. Stop by the shop and ask Josh (or Jack) why they started this project. You will be surprised. [by a different Brian from the one posting above]

  • Times R Tuff December 7, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    Oh and by the way people one other thing these experts have had in common over the years is that they have been consistantly proven wrong, from claims of a flat earth, to whether witches exist, to Y2K, grow up and live your own lives in what way pleases you most. If more people would complain about themselves and fix THEMSELVES instead of worrying what others do the world would be a much better place.

  • Kathy December 17, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Does anyone know how long the Menashe’s keep the lights up? Do they leave it up through New Year’s weekend?

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