Holiday Homes 2020: Christmas on Wendhurst

Updated: Dec. 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Christmas on Wendhurst is a tradition that has been going strong in Glen Allen for 22 years. Al and Esther Thompson are the couple behind the beautiful display.

Of course, this year is different than any other, given the pandemic. So the Thompsons have taken precautions to make sure all of their visitors are safe.

First, masks are strongly encouraged, and 6-feet markers are painted on the ground to remind people to properly social distance. There are also signs encouraging only 25 guests in front of the house at a time.

Many central Virginians know Christmas on Wendhurst as an annual tradition. The decorations began in 1999 after the Thompsons took a limo tour with friends to see the lights of Richmond.

Returning home, Esther proclaimed, “Let’s put some lights on the bushes!” Al’s first reaction was ‘no way’ because he was working 70-80 hours a week with little time for decorating.

Guess who won that debate…lights were put on the bushes. From those first few lights, the Thompsons have grown their current display. Slowly at first with a single reindeer added in 2000, then a second reindeer and two spiral green trees in 2001. A few more decorations were added over the next couple of years until 2004 when they had a major increase to 93,000 lights.

With the added lights came something they did not anticipate; the human side. When they switched on the 93,000 lights, they were excited to see people stopping and getting out of their cars. Al said ‘let’s go out and talk to them.’ Since then, the Thompsons have spoken to people from all over the world.

If you would like to visit Christmas on Wendhurst, head to 9716 Wendhurst Dr., Glen Allen, VA.

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