Staff Report

Dan and Michelle Alexander and their family have outdone themselves this year with their annual Christmas light show.

Once again, the family will hold a toy drive in conjunction with the Christmas Basket program at Mission Santa Ynez from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at their home at 410 Dogwood Drive in Buellton. Last year, more than 160 toys were collected during the drive.

The Alexanders put up more than 30,000 LED lights on their home and create a light show synchronizes with music that can be heard on radio station 107.1 FM as people watch from their cars. This year, light show creator Dan Alexander has added a new song, “Lights Shine Bright,” after spending countless hours synching lights to song.

“We know people wait with anticipation,” Michelle Alexander said.

As a reminder, the family asks light show visitors to follow all rules of the road and be considerate of the neighbors, keeping stereo volume to a minimum and not blocking driveways. The lights typically run from 5:30 to 10 p.m. daily.

On the night of the toy drive, the family also hosts Santa and Mrs. Claus at their house for pictures and serves hot cider. They ask only that people donate unwrapped new toys that will be given to underprivileged children through the Christmas Basket Program at the mission.

The Alexanders started their display years ago when their former neighborhood in Rancho de Maria held a decorating contest. Though the contest no longer exists and the family lives in a different neighborhood, the family still goes all out for the holidays.

Those who cannot make it to the Alexanders’ toy drive can donate directly to the mission at 1760 Mission Drive in Solvang. The mission is also collecting food, but asks for no canned items. Preferred food donations are things like cereal, Bisquick, peanut butter and jam to be given out with the presents. All the families will pick up their baskets on Friday, Dec. 22.

For more information on the Christmas Basket Program, call the mission at 688-4815.