By Aaron Siebert
Tis’ the season where good tidings of comfort and joy are on full display throughout the world, and the people of Jenks are no different.
But among the bright Christmas lights presented around town, one house seems to shine a little brighter than the rest. Ok, maybe a little more than a little.
Ben Sumner’s home in downtown Jenks is covered roof to lawn in red, green, and white. There are too many Christmas icons and ornaments to count, and it isn’t even all on the outside. Ben dubbed the colorful home “Kringle’s Christmas Land”.
“It’s actually been 4 generations of my family, the Sumner family, that have done big enough displays that we’ve been featured in the Sapulpa Herald.” Sumner says, “My great grandfather won first place for the Sapulpa Herald for his Christmas display, my grandfather won, my dad won, and my dad even told me how he feels he’s passing the Christmas display torch to me.”
The Sumner family’s house was featured on an episode of the ABC reality show “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and they ended up winning that episode and it’s $50,000 prize for their stunning seasonal display. While the episode was filmed during the past year (before the pandemic) it finally aired on December 9th. You can see it for yourself here.
“I am a superfan of “The Great Christmas Light Fight”, and I never thought our display was big enough,” Sumner says. “But they actually reached out to me last summer. You know we’ve been doing this since way before it was on the air. I was actually planning on waiting to expand before I auditioned for the show, but they reached out to me and cars just lined up so it just happened, so before you know it we were on the show.”
Lacy Sumner, 11, is a student here at Jenks High School and the niece of Ben. She and her mom helped set up all the decorations.
“I’ve been helping ever since I’ve been little and I’ve grown up watching him decorating and I have always kinda taken after him,” says Lacy. “I love Christmas and it only grows on me more and more, and I want to help pass it down in the family to the generations to come.”
Being a student at Jenks, one may wonder the reaction from her peers and the staff members to one of their own representing Jenks for the whole nation, and winning.
“I have gotten a lot of people saying they’ve watched it and they thought it was really crazy that we had won,” says Lacy. “It’s still insane just thinking about that. It still feels like a dream even now. We’re very proud that it’s the first Jenks win. The Principle even called to congratulate us.”
But the heart of this display isn’t the press or the feedback, it’s Christmas and what it means to them. So why is Christmas so important to this family?
“Starting as a young child, whenever Christmas would roll around, my mother would put up the Nativity scene front and center,” Says Ben Sumner. “And she would always explain to us what Christmas was all about. Then we would put up our Christmas tree and put up ornaments passed down from generation to generation. So passing down these big light displays is an event for our family.”
It appears that there really is no such thing as “too much” for this beautiful Holiday. If this isn’t the time of year to go all out, then what is?
You can see this gorgeous spectacle for yourself at 12520 S Date PL, Jenks, OK.
Kringle’s Christmas Land Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KringlesChristmasLand/