It takes over 200 hours of work, but it hasn't stopped one River East house from being lit up for Christmas.
In 2003, Michael Geiger-Wolf was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent treatment. The next year, he decorated his house with 5000 lights.
Over the next six years, Geiger-Wolf continued to add more lights until a really tough year changed what he was doing.
"In 2010, I was rediagnosed with [my cancer] and I lost my father-in-law to throat cancer," Geiger-Wolf explained. "So we decided to turn it into a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society."
Seven years later, and 15 years after he originally started, Geiger-Wolf has grown his display to 250,000 lights that are all timed to 30 different Christmas songs and carols. Those songs are broadcast over 93.9fm so visitors can remain in their warm car while watching the show.
"We hear from parents that their kids are convinced Santa Claus lives in our house," Geiger-Wolf laughed, referring to the projection of Santa Claus in their upstairs window.
"The lights themselves don't take very long anymore," Geiger-Wolf explained. "It still takes a total of 48 hours [to set them up]."
The hard part, he says, is programming the lights. This year, it took 200 hours, which he says is less than normal.
Geiger-Wolf does this because he knows that people need hope. Non-Hodkin's lymphoma is a cancer that doesn't easily go away.
"Doctors believe it's a question of when it comes back, not if it comes back," Geiger-Wolf said.
So he dedicates his holiday season to raise funds for cancer research so that others may not have to live with the type of cancer that he has.
"Christmas is the season of giving and hope," Geiger-Wolf said. "Hope is so important."
He doesn't plan on stopping the display anytime soon. In fact, his kids are already making plans to take over when Geiger-Wolf can no longer do it himself. He's heard incredible stories and had the chance to talk to many people. One couple even got engaged on the front lawn.
How big can the project get? Geiger-Wolf says that his wife has set some boundaries.
"My wife was very clear that the point at which we can't park the car in the garage anymore is the point that we need to scale back," he laughed.
He has already filled the garage with lights, as well as two backyard storage sheds that are dedicated solely for display storage.
The goal is to raise $8000 and they are already over $1000. You can see the lights at 18 Mildred Street in the northeast part of Winnipeg. In seven years, Geiger-Wolf has raised more than $51,000.