Hunter’s Woods resident, Ted Witham, has a home that’s become known by locals as the holiday house. With animated moving decorations, holiday villages, and a beautiful light display, it’s no wonder neighbors have wandered to his home during the holiday seasons. His mission is to top each previous year with a magical vision of elevated spirits. The outcome has created irreplaceable holiday memories for friends, family, neighbors and loved ones.
Originally from California, Witham traveled far and wide before he landed in Simpsonville. He’s lived in the suburbs of four big cities and has lived in five states. He moved to this area from Florida to be closer to the mountains, and to experience the four seasons. Witham’s number one hobby (obviously) is holiday decorating, but he also enjoys hiking, gardening, landscaping, and trips to national parks, “I’m a hiker that likes majestic scenery,” he says. That comes as no surprise given the incredible scenes he imagines for each holiday. For the majority of his career, he’s worked in various positions in the restaurant industry including restaurant manager, district manager, and director of operations. Though he’s currently semi-retired, he still works hard at a local restaurant and continues to leave an imprint on everyone he serves.
As a kid, Witham was always the first in his family to put up the Christmas tree. He loved to decorate for holidays and the feeling followed him to adulthood. It wasn’t until he bought his first house in Florida that he started next level decorating, “I really enjoy the process and the end result,” he says. He’s become a collector of ceramic holiday houses, which he uses to create villages in his garage, “I started with basic stuff and just kept going,” he admits. Twenty years later, he’s acquired quite the collection of quaint decorations. As a result, he’s gained a festive reputation in his neighbhorhood.
Every 4th of July, Christmas, and Halloween, he builds a village in his garage. He puts up plexiglass over it so people can get a seamless view. In addition to the ambiance, he plays holiday themed music to go along with each celebration. Witham explains the joy it brings to him and others, “I enjoy building it and the pay off is when people come up and say ‘wow, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life’.” Witham sponsors his own holiday displays and pays the slightly higher electric bill. Other than an occasional compliment, he receives nothing in return except personal fulfillment.
With a larger collection obtained every holiday, each year poses new challenges. This year, he had electrical issues and had to think of creative ways to solve problems when breakers blew out. Next time, he’ll hire an electrician to help fix the kinks. Future plans also include a continued effort in growing his decoration collection, and to spread the word about his otherworldly holiday house, “The more people that come, the more I’ll do,” he promises.
Although it was sad to see the Roper Mountain lights end this year, maybe Witham’s holiday house in Simpsonville can take its place. Without decorations, holiday magic is lost in ordinary days. Thanks to neighbors like Witham, the holiday spirit is kept alive. Visit his house at 101 Foxworth Lane, Simpsonville, SC 29681 for the next special display on Easter.♦