Driving by Patrick Char­trand’s house during Christmas time, the Christmas lights seem to twinkle spo­rad­i­cally. Stopping at his house and turning the radio to 88.9, however, creates a spec­tacular show.

For the past five years, Char­trand, Network/Systems Manager at Hillsdale Col­lege’s Infor­mation Tech­nology Ser­vices, has created a Christmas light show syn­chro­nized to music he broad­casts on the radio. Located in Cold­water, the show runs from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Sat­urday.

Char­trand’s show includes nine mini trees, three arches, a nativity scene, candy canes, snowflakes on the roof, a light-up wreath, and a video pro­jector. Each indi­vidual piece lights up at dif­ferent points in time with the music.

The show con­sists of eight songs including “Little Drummer Boy,” “Blessed is the Child,” and “Jingle Bells.”

Every few songs, an infomercial is played. One includes a message to stay out of the neighbors’ dri­veways. Another adver­tises a food drive that Char­trand holds for the local food bank.

Another infomercial reminds lis­teners that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” The show serves as a “family min­istry,” Char­trand said.

Most songs played are Christian themed.

“It’s Christmas. I want to do it for what Christmas stands for,” Char­trand said.

Cars stop stop con­stantly each night of the show. Char­trand has seen some cars wait 45 minutes to get a closer view of the house.

Meredith from Cold­water visits with her children a few times every year.

“I drove by one day after work and knew I had to bring my kids,” she said.

Another family, who goes to church with Char­trand, drives from Quincy to see the lights.

“The music is good. The color is good. It is all good,” the father said.

Char­trand knows one 10-year-old boy who has to stop by every night and listen to “Jingle Bells” before he can fall asleep.

Char­trand has noticed that few Hillsdale stu­dents drive to Cold­water to visit his house.

After a visit to the Dutch Uncle doughnut shop, sophomore Jake Adkins decided to stop at the lights.

“I loved how the lights per­fectly matched the music,” Adkins said. “It really put me in the Christmas spirit.”

The Christmas light show is a year-long project for Char­trand. He begins choosing songs in the summer. Using software called “Lightorama,” he then works until Christmas, editing the lights to be syn­chro­nized with music. Every song “takes forever,” Char­trand said.

With the help of his family, Char­trand sets up the lights and dif­ferent dis­plays on Thanks­giving. After they are fin­ished, they watch the entire show together as a family.

“The past five years have been fun,” Char­trand said.

Even though he uses 35,000 dif­ferent lights, the cost of Char­trand’s elec­tricity bill has not changed sig­nif­i­cantly since he is doing the show instead of using tra­di­tional lights.

Char­trand attributes this con­sis­tency to two factors. The first is that the lights are only on for a few hours every night. The second is that they have con­verted to LEDs, which use less power.

Char­trand decided to begin his light show after watching “Wizards and Winter” on Youtube, which shows a house syn­chro­nized with Christmas lights.

“I saw this house and I thought, ‘I know com­puters. I ought to know how to do it,’ ” Char­trand said.

Every year Char­trand adds a high-priced item to his show. These changes include the video pro­jection and the arches in the past.

“I have crazy ideas for next year,” Char­trand said.

For more infor­mation, visit Char­trand’s website at