West Seattle holidays: Menashe family starts decking the house

November 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle Christmas lights, West Seattle news | 29 Comments

The Sunday sunshine was a boon to many who wanted to get their Christmas lights up – including the small army of family and friends working on West Seattle’s biggest and brightest display at the Menashe family’s home in the 5600 block of Beach Drive. They started work at 8 this morning, Josh Menashe told us, and by the time we stopped by about five hours later, they’d made a lot of progress. We got to meet two exuberant helpers – two of Jack and Linda Menashe‘s grandchildren, Jacob Menashe‘s daughters Sophia and McKenna, who were riding in the cherry picker:

The girls helped show us some of the new/newer decorations waiting in the yard – including candy canes taller than they are:

Here’s the biggest of the light-laden stars waiting to be put up around the property:

And while some of the shrubbery already was decked with bulbs, more lights – in boxes and tubs – waited to be added to the mix:

The Menashes will continue working on their display throughout the week, and they’re expecting to officially turn the lights on at 7 pm this Saturday (December 1st) – if you want to be there, that’ll give you (and us!) time after the West Seattle Junction Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, (5 pm Saturday). Another date to note – the evening of December 15th, Santa will be at the house for photos, as a benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank.

29 Comments

  1. Thank you Menashe family for doing this every year. I know it must be a lot of work and cost a lot but it wouldn’t be the holidays without it!!!

    Comment by Jennifer — 7:21 am November 26, 2012 #

  2. Yes, thank you!

    Comment by CMT — 9:23 am November 26, 2012 #

  3. What a treat for the people of West Seattle!!! Everybody looks forward to this beautiful display every year! What a nice thing to share with all!!! (Yet I still meet people, mostly new to this area who have not seen this beautiful gift).

    Comment by Cassies Mom — 9:49 am November 26, 2012 #

  4. Hey WSB,
    You know what would be an interesting story? Ask
    the neighbors around the Menashes what they think of this annual nuclear-powered display. I love what the Menashes do and go there every year with my kids, who squeal with delight as the lights come into view (about a mile away).
    But I don’t live next to the Menashes. If the people next to my house, did something this over the top, if every parking space on the block was occupied every night from November until the New Year, if the noise from every gawker from Shoreline to Tacoma filled the air, I don’t think I’d be too happy about it.
    Maybe the neighbors love it, maybe they hate it, maybe the Menashes have bought them off with free diamonds? This reader would like to know.
    This post is typical of the puffery that makes WSB so painful to read a lot of the time. Don’t be so nice all the time.

    Comment by hg — 10:44 am November 26, 2012 #

  5. HG, I’m sorry we’re not meeting your expectations, but … we are what we are, and this is genuinely who we are. Simple. Informative. God forbid, even “nice.” This is what we found when we went there – we didn’t seek out the kids – they showed up scampering all around us. The story you suggest is more the type of thing the Stranger or Weekly might do, and they are welcome to it – that’s how they have made their respective names, and that’s what their readerships expect. There’s lots of edginess and negativity out there without us piling on too. And lots of hard news, which we cover in abundance. I’m glad to have the occasional chance to do a little “puffery,” if you want to call it that, before the next murder/car crash/etc. (for which people occasionally accuse us of vicious ambulance-chasing, which I guess is the flip side of “puffery”) comes down the line – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:53 am November 26, 2012 #

  6. Hi from the UK, we stayed with our daughter in Seattle last year and spent a happy couple of hours amazed at the superb display.
    The sheer effort required to complete it is astonishing.
    Thank you so much from the Brits.

    Comment by John Billot — 11:01 am November 26, 2012 #

  7. They do it up so nice it has become a verb. We were putting up lights last night at our house and my GF says to me, “let’s Menashe this place up.”

    Menashe: (verb) to adorn your home with a spectacle of Christmas lights.

    Sweet people, love the tradition, love the family.

    Comment by James Owenby — 11:06 am November 26, 2012 #

  8. It’s not negativity. It’s good reporting.

    In this case, why not present the perspective of the neighbors? They might not even hate it. I’ll bet you, though, if you surveyed every person who stops to look at the lights, a big portion of them would say they would not want a display like it next to them.

    You report on plenty of neighborhood nuisances. I’d like to know if the people next to the Menashes consider this one or not. It doesn’t help the perception of WSB as overly friendly to the neighborhood’s merchant class that the Menashes advertise on your site.

    Comment by hg — 11:16 am November 26, 2012 #

  9. Thank you Menashe Family!!! So happy you are willing and able to continue this tradition. Can’t wait to see your display again this year. We are one of the crazy families that come by sometimes several times a week. Love it!

    Comment by Moon — 11:29 am November 26, 2012 #

  10. I would welcome such.a.display next door or my house being used as a foundation for one. I don’t have the skills to do so.

    Comment by gina — 11:38 am November 26, 2012 #

  11. HG, we have been reporting on this for the entirety of the five years we’ve been doing news. They have been advertising with us for one year. And this is about their house, not about their business. Frankly, they probably couldn’t care less whether we covered their setup or not – people start asking us this time of year when it goes on, so we went over to their store one afternoon last week to ask what day they’d start setup, and after hearing they were going to start on Sunday, we showed up yesterday afternoon unannounced. If “they’re a sponsor, so you must be kowtowing” is what your real concern/belief is, there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind. Our advertising rates are rock-bottom for the amount of traffic the site gets – and we haven’t raised them since the start. Each of our sponsors pays a small amount of money for a small ad; we are beholden to no business, never have been, never will be, and if any sponsor doesn’t like what we do or do not report, we are sorry to see them go (and we have lost a few that way, but that’s the way it goes). If you would like to discuss further, please e-mail me, as we’re breaking our own rule about offtopic discussions. Thank you. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:52 am November 26, 2012 #

  12. I assume that if the Menashe’s neighbors have issues with the yearly display, they’d work those issues out with the Menashe’s instead of waiting for a reporter to come around asking them how they feel about it. (Although it is kind of funny to think of them huddling inside their homes each Xmas, furtively looking through the curtains, praying for someone from a news organization to knock on the door so they can finally express their displeasure.)

    Comment by Ajax — 1:16 pm November 26, 2012 #

  13. HG, I wouldn’t worry about the neighbors. And the Menashe family doesn’t pay anybody off with Diamonds

    Comment by JM4 — 1:36 pm November 26, 2012 #

  14. THANK YOU MENASHE FAMILY!!!…..My goodness HG…why do you have to be so negative? I’m sure if there were any issues with their neighbor’s they have worked it out, otherwise we’d be hearing of lawsuits about it, as everyone is so eager to sue each other these days. Just enjoy the lights and the displays.. let the little kids and big kids alike admire the scene. It’s a nice gift for the family to give to anyone that happens to drive passed their home. Happy Holidays, and thank you for the lights. They are beautiful and fun.. They make people happy.

    Comment by ~~HockeyWitch~~ — 1:37 pm November 26, 2012 #

  15. When I was first married and moved to West Seattle in 1987 my husband took me to see the Christmas display that the Gai family on 36th Ave S.W. would put on in West Seattle. I was astounded with the hugh Madonna (it seemed 10 feet tall) and cross and Christmas lights covering the entire yard. I had him drive by a few more times because there was so much to take in! We would go see it every Christmas until they stopped doing it in 1996. What a wonderful memory of my introduction to West Seattle!

    Comment by sc — 2:38 pm November 26, 2012 #

  16. We’ve been here four years fewer than you, but I remember that one too, and also miss it.

    Comment by WSB — 2:40 pm November 26, 2012 #

  17. hg, here are a couple of links that may be of help to you:

    http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/how-to-start-your-own-local-news-site-tips-from-a-berkeleyside-co-founder_b3012

    http://howardowens.com/2011/09/27/how-to-launch-your-own-local-news-site-in-10-not-so-easy-steps/

    .

    Please note that I am in no way endorsing either one, nor have I read either one, other than a quick glance.

    .

    If you want the option of more results, I entered the phrase: “how do i start my own news site?” into Google.

    .

    Hope this helps!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:40 pm November 26, 2012 #

  18. WSB, why do you get so defensive when someone poses a legitimate and interesting question in response to a story? Just wondering. Thanks.

    Comment by Annie — 2:48 pm November 26, 2012 #

  19. Thank you Menashe family – we love your display every year.!

    Comment by Anne — 3:03 pm November 26, 2012 #

  20. Anne… your comment along with mines will be deleted…There’s no sense in having a comment feature when you can’t say what you want to.

    Comment by justwow — 3:58 pm November 26, 2012 #

  21. Thank you Menashe family! You are truly caring and giving people and I love you and your display!

    Comment by rmp — 4:07 pm November 26, 2012 #

  22. I never thought there was much of an impact on the neighbors with the Menashe display. It is pretty static so most just slow down, stop, then drive by. HG asked a good question albeit maybe not as politely as I would have.

    I am really surprised though that there is not more adverse neighbor reaction to the yearly Helmstetler display. This causes some legitimate traffic issues in the neighborhood, including last weeks street closure for the ‘concert’. I understand it benefits some great causes, including the WSFB but it seems to be taking on a pretty commercial atmosphere in a residential neighborhood. Just looking at the hours of the shows from November I feel for the immediate neighbors.

    I think if the WSB wanted to do some good investigative journalism they could investigate the link to the recent spate of West Seattle power outages and these over-the-top Christmas displays. (That is a joke folks)

    Comment by Delridge Believer — 4:40 pm November 26, 2012 #

  23. Visiting from Ohio to see our daughter and son in
    law this week and they took us to your home. A terrific display puts us in the Holiday mood. Thank you

    Comment by Taylor family — 6:40 pm November 26, 2012 #

  24. Hey, HG, here’s a thought. Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is, start your own online newspaper and stop telling Tracy how to do her job?
    West Seattle people aren’t shy about speaking up when something bugs them. If the neighbors were really p.o’ed about the Menashe family’s decorations, the lawsuits would already be flying. And, we’d be reading about them here.

    Comment by WS expat — 7:05 pm November 26, 2012 #

  25. I am a neighbor.
    .
    I love the display.
    .
    I love WSB’s coverage.
    .
    I love that people come to see the display.
    .
    So there.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 7:09 pm November 26, 2012 #

  26. It is a must see during the holidays, a West Seattle tradition.

    Comment by Lisa — 7:10 pm November 26, 2012 #

  27. love this display and come to see it every year (usually more than once) thank you!

    Comment by sam-c — 7:26 pm November 26, 2012 #

  28. Thank you Menashe family. As your neighbor and friend, WE are thrilled with your yearly holiday displays. You bring so much joy to our community every year (and throughout the year as well). If it means driving a little slower and keeping a watchful eye for pedestrians crossing the street to see your display, it is indeed our pleasure. In a world filled with ugliness, your family brings love and beauty to West Seattle, all year long. The Schwartz Family

    Comment by Pam Schwartz — 2:12 pm November 29, 2012 #

  29. HG, get a life. The lights and spirit of Christmas are present at the house and bring happiness and joy to the people ofWest Seattle and many others who come from great distances to see it. You obviously have a very petty problem and need to devote all this time and energy you seem to have to the Lord and helping others. Work to lift others up rather than tearing them down. Merry Christmas and may God bless you.

    Comment by L — 5:16 pm December 2, 2012 #

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