Wadsworth Griswold House returns to light up holiday season

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BY LILY LOVE

Each year at Christmas time, people decorate their houses with lights, and signs to show their Christmas spirit. Usually, these displays include colorful lights, candy canes, a Santa, and a nativity. Though, for one house in Wadsworth tradition just isn’t enough.

New this year is a replica of the popular Griswold family station wagon. The Osterland’s drove 4 hours in order to get the car, and feature it in their Griswold Christmas display this year. Courtesy of wadsworthgriswoldhouse Instagram.

Every year, during the Christmas season, one family goes all in. Located at 173 Duane Lane, Wadsworth, known as the Wadsworth Griswold House, it is one of the staples to Wadsworth’s Christmas traditions. 

Inspired by their love for the familiar classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the owners Greg and Rachel Osterland transform their home into the Griswolds for 1 month out of the year. This year, along with the lights, and RV, there will be a few new Christmas Vacation staples added to the current display. 

“This year, one of our new additions is the beloved family station wagon. My wife and I drove 4 hours to get it and bring it home, ” said Osterland. 

 Another way Osterland stays true to the original movie is by including the same number of light strands and bulbs that Clark proudly decorated the family house with in the original movie.  Osterland’s attention to detail includes a grand total of 100 strands of lights and 25,000 bulbs on the Wadsworth Griswold House.  With so many lights in use, the house gives off a luminous glow that can be seen throughout the neighborhoods, and as far away as Seville Road. 

In preparation for the Holidays the Osterland’s begin decorating their house with lights the first week of October. In total they cover the house with 25,000 individual lights each year. Courtesy of wdsworthgriswoldhouse Instagram. 

Yet another way the Osterland family stays true to the movie is by using the exact kind of lightbulb from the movie and parking a  replica of the Griswold family RV on the curb outside of their Wadsworth home. 

Preparation for this big event begins as early as October, in order to make sure all of the individual bulbs light up. Once begun, prep for the coming holiday season takes about 1 week, for the lights alone. 

“The house is lit from 5:00pm to 11:00pm beginning on Black Friday and running through  New Year’s Day,” said Osterland. 

This epic display of lights, music, and other fun decorations initially began in 2013 as a fun way to honor this popular movie. However, over the years this local tradition has grown into something more, with the house being visited by thousands of people each year.

In preparation for the Holidays the Osterland’s begin decorating their house with lights the first week of October. In total they cover the house with 25,000 individual lights each year. Courtesy of wdsworthgriswoldhouse Instagram. 

In addition to displaying lights and decorations intended to spread Christmas cheer, the Osterland family also uses their display to help raise donations that assist with Cystic Fibrosis research. There is a lock box outside of their display for neighbors wishing to donate to this cause.

Beginning this year, the Osterands hope to have an available link as well for people who would like to donate. All of the money raised in donations goes directly to the Great Strides foundation, which holds an annual walk in Akron to assist with Cystic Fibrosis research. 

This holiday season, the Wadsworth Griswold house is lit up for the community to enjoy. With more on display than ever before, it is one of the traditions that brings the Christmas spirit, and season, to life every year in Wadsworth.