The holiday season brings out many families’ annual traditions; whether it’s watching movies and drinking hot chocolate, Elf on the Shelf’s, or decorating with Christmas lights. Tom Rau, Highland resident, uses this time to connect with his family as well as his childhood. Rau’s light display is named after his daughter, Lana.
“Growing up we would go to see the Christmas lights around town, I wanted to bring that back,” said Rau.
In the beginning, his Facebook page was a way to show his mother their light display while she lived in Whiting and Rau lived in Indy. His mother couldn’t travel due to battling cancer. For the past six years Rau has been a part of the contest, and he won several years ago. This year he has placed 3rd.
Lana’s Land of Christmas grows every year; this year he added DIY snowflakes to the side of the house, “Believe” spelled out in lights on the garage, and another DIY project Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. The snowflakes are made out of clothes hangers and scale the side of Rau’s house.
“It usually takes about 2-3 weeks (to get the decorations set up), but this year it took about two months because I had hip surgery,” Rau said.
Having a hip surgery did not stop Rau from putting his decorations up. With the pandemic this year, Rau wanted to make sure the people of Highland had something to visit during these troubling times.
“People need to get out” he said, “I’ve seen more people this year than any other year.”
By the front door of Lana’s Land of Christmas there is a large red mailbox, this is for children to drop off their letters to Santa. If they leave a return address they can expect a response back.
Rau will have a Toys for Tots donation program running until December 13th, you can drop off the presents anytime from 4:45 to 10:30. Please make sure they are unwrapped gifts!