alvarez christmas lights

A Cullowhee home went from dark to almost visible from the International Space Station last week when Christmas Decor surprised a family with a holiday makeover.

Geisha Alvarez, her husband, Angel Alvarez-Ayala, and their eight kids were nominated by friends and family to receive a treatment of 4,000 lights, 200-feet of garland, life-sized snowmen and giant snowflakes.

“We had nothing,” Geisha Alvarez said. “The house was bare. We had a wreath on the door when they came.”

Angel Alvarez-Ayala was medically discharged from the Army and is disabled and unable to work. He served in Iraq in the 82nd Airborne, Geisha Alvarez said.

Christmas Decor, a Texas-based holiday decorating franchise, knocked out the decorating in about 4 and 1/2 hours last Tuesday, according to Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor. Since 2005, the organization has decorated about 200 homes per year.

Employees will come back and take down the decorations after Christmas and provide gift cards to help with higher power bills.