We tend to be pretty minimalistic with our outside decorations and lights, partly because we have young children that keep us pretty busy. On the other hand, our next-door neighbor, Chet, does an amazing Christmas light display every year. We love it and our kids LOVE it. It works out very well for us because we can enjoy the lights without paying the electricity bill. :)
Last year our neighbor found an picture on the internet of two houses, one that was completely decked out in an extravagant Christmas light display, and the other that had a sign made out of Christmas lights that said "Ditto" and an arrow pointing to the other house. He showed it to Dave and I, and we all laughed saying that picture perfectly fits our houses, his with decorations a-plenty, and ours with not so many. We decided that, to give our neighbors a good laugh, we would do a "Ditto display" as well.
So Dave got busy with a few strands of lights and some electrical tape, fashioning our own Ditto sign above our garage. Even as he was putting it up, our neighbors driving by our house stopped their cars, laughing out loud, taking pictures, and telling Dave how much they loved it. So Dave said to me, "Why don't we take a picture of our house and the Cybulski's? We can send it in to NBC5. You know how sometimes the news ends with a funny local picture? I bet you our picture could make it."
I took the picture, Dave emailed it to NBC5, and 2 minutes later (I kid you not!) a reporter called Dave. He interviewed him, posted a story on their website, and then told us that it would be featured on their evening news program! (Click here for my blog post from that day and a link to the article.) I couldn't wait to tell the kids when I picked them up from school! They were thrilled! When we got home, Dave said that People magazine called. I laughed, thinking that he was just joking around. He wasn't. They said that they wanted to run a little something in their magazine. HA! (Click here for my post about that article.) A little bit later, Yahoo! called and said that they were posting our story on their main page too. (At the end of the post linked here, there is a picture of the Yahoo! page with our story.)
In the days that followed, the story and picture went viral. The Daily News in the UK ran it, as well as news organizations in China and India (!). If you google Dave Nosek Ditto House, you'll see how far it went. A mega-church in Louisville, Kentucky (18,000 people attend their services every weekend) even used the picture and story in their Christmas Eve sermon! It was CRAZY! The Cybulskis, Dave and I could hardly believe it!
Fast forward to this year...we decided against putting the Ditto sign up this year simply because it seemed like an old joke. We couldn't come up with anything better than what we had done, so we just went with our simple decorations. Then today we got a call from an NBC5 reporter wanting to interview Dave for a follow-up story from last year. When Dave told me, I again laughed because I thought he was joking. However, he wasn't, and we made the news again!
Click here for a link to the story.
We kind of felt bad that we hadn't done the Ditto sign again this year! :)