Nautilus Christmas display a seasonal La Jolla treat

At one point, the Heath's Christmas decorations used 50,000 bulbs. Photo: Halie Johnson
At one point, the Heath's Christmas decorations used 50,000 bulbs. Photo: Halie Johnson

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

The fabulous Christmas display at 1825 Nautilus St. is a site to behold.

The display has been put up every year since 1994 by La Jolllans Kenneth and Lois Heath.

“The theme stays the same but we add at least one thing every year,” said Lois, adding half of the sprawling decorations containing about 35,000 individual lights is “secular” and the rest is religious. “We were up to 50,000 one year,” she said, adding, “It just kind of grew and grew."

There’s also something about the display most won’t notice: Drawing inspiration from the movie "The Wizard of Oz," it's  black and white in one portion before transitioning into color for the rest.

There is a collection basket in the front of the residence near the mailbox asking for canned goods and foodstuffs for the needy which are donated by the family to the Christian Service Association in Clairemont. Typically, 300 to 400 food items are donated annually. Lois Heath noted donations have been down a bit this year.

Heath said their Christmas display goes up at Thanksgiving and lights are on from 5 to 9 p.m. every night through New Year's Eve. “They’re on all night Christmas and New Year's,” she said, adding the “light show” typically doubles their electrical bill that month each year.

Lois Heath noted her family’s Christmas display has become an attraction known far and wide.

“People honk when they drive by,” she said. “We’ve had buses come out to see it. Some friends of ours in La Jolla were on a cruise in China and the people at their table were talking about this house in La Jolla that was decorated for Christmas and they said, ‘We live next door to it.’ So we’re known worldwide.”



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