'Little Rhema' Holiday House Lights Up Broken Arrow

Thursday, December 16th 2010, 6:19 pm
By: News On 6

Carrie Netherton, 918Moms.com

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- All across Green Country cities and towns are looking a little bit like Vegas with twinkling lights hanging on homes and buildings. Just down the road from Rhema Bible Church's Christmas Light Extravaganza is another holiday destination.

Oklahomans have turned their love for the holidays into a gift to the community. A dancing Santa, lights in the trees, a nativity: all common decorations at Christmas. Except one house is a bit more extreme.

It's a house - all lit up - and is better known as "Little Rhema." Welcome to Kevin and Roberta Johnson's home where they say their holiday lighting is their form of artistic expression.

The couple starts working on their display the day after Thanksgiving. It takes 175 hours.

"It's down to a science. Everything knows where it goes, how it goes in," said Kevin Johnson.

Among the highlights: a candy cane lane, a train, a moving Ferris wheel, and close to 60,000 lights.

"When they ask for directions, I say 'follow the glow, you'll see it."

With close to 60,000 lights shining off this house, what do the neighbors think about this? In fact, the neighbors help each other decorate each other's homes.

"We have a fun neighborhood with lots of people participating," said neighbor Paul Schmidt. "There's a competition, and we have fun with each other and we help each other out."

Hundreds of people, including more than 100 limo tours, drive-by the Johnson house each year. Kevin or Roberta is always there with a wave.

"We eat dinner in shifts, one of us is standing at the door or drive-way at all times," Roberta said.

The popularity of this is home is how it became the first residential Toys for Tots drop-off site in the state of Oklahoma.

"We had a friend of ours, it was her birthday and that's what she wanted for her birthday, was everybody to collect toys and we did that," said Wanda Johnson, a donator to Toys for Tots.

 Last year, the Johnsons collected more than 900 toys.

It's the only donations the Johnsons receive - they don't get paid to do this - but they say it's worth it.

"Our payoff is to see other people enjoy this," Kevin said.

The Johnsons will keep their lights up through New Year's Eve. People can drop-off donations for Toys for Tots through Friday. They'll deliver the toys on Saturday.

You can find directions to the house and other great light displays at 918Moms.com.