Although we don't live in America, some Czechs love Christmas so much that they don't hesitate to spend thousands of crowns on Christmas decorations. Like Václav Trunec from Chotovice near Litomyšl, famous for "embellishing" his house for almost twenty years. This year, as per usual, he intends to light up its home and its surroundings again on the first Sunday of Advent, despite the coronavirus pandemic. He adorned it with 65 light bulbs and LEDs this time.
It all began when he saw the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where the Griswold family desperately tries to decorate their house, turning the holiday inro a disaster not only for themselves, but also for their neighbors.
"I saw it in American movies. And I wanted to have my house decorated in the same style, so I started with 200 light bulbs nineteen years ago and today I have 65,000 of them,"
said Václav Trunec, who is rightly proud of his work.
He decorated the whole house and garden, including a little bell tower, a well, a gazebo, trees and a nativity scene. The decoration consists of light chains, nets, curtains, icicles... The sound of Czech carols adds a final touch to the Christmas atmosphere. Luckily, Václav Trunec doesn't have any neighbours who could complain about all the light shining into their windows for nearly two months. He and his wife live on a hill alone.
A 110 year old sleigh
But don't expect to see frolicking reindeers or Santa Claus in his garden. Václav Trunec sticks to purely traditional Czech symbols. The main feature is always a beautiful sledge, more than a hundred years old. He even bought another this year and adorned it with a thousand light bulbs.
"You'll find horses, a nativity scene, Bethlehem, Santa Claus, deer... everything you can think of, but it's all Czech,"
he brags, adding that he always gets the sleds and other attractions on the internet, and because people already know him, they're always glad to sell them to him, knowing they'll end up in good hands. He makes it a point to buy all the decorations from Czech manufacturers.
Usually, the youngest folk are the most excited to see his house, and children often write letters to Baby Jesus in the gazebo. But over the years, more and more adults have began looking forward to his decoration, not only from various corners of the Czech Republic, but from all over the world. Trunec often has to explain to those from America why they won't find any American Christmas symbols here.
Last year, he was rewarded for his efforts by an entry in the Guinness Book of Records and also got on the list of 35 most beautiful Christmas places from around the world.
"Considering that I started as a local attraction, this is a great achievement and I really appreciate it,"
smiles the owner of the house, whose home is visited by 20,000 Christmas enthusiasts every year.
Preparations since September
Decorating such a large space isn't a walk in the part. This year, Trunec started at the end of September. He spends several hours a day laying the lights. This year, he is also concerned about possible problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, and so he appeals to people not to gather in crowds, to wear face masks and use the disinfection prepared for them on the spot.