Enormous Christmas Tree Lit Up Again After One-Year Hiatus

Dec 19, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

When driving through Ocean Acres at night during the holiday season, you’ll find neighborhoods dotted with spectacular Christmas decorations. But one that is drawing plenty of glances is a 55-foot Christmas tree outside the home of Thomas and Kelly Hugg, who live on Topside Road in Stafford Township.

They first adorned it in 2016, but had to skip last year due to lighting malfunctions.

A Tuckerton native, Hugg said he and his wife have lived there since 1992.

“A good friend of mine and his brother brought over two 6-foot Norway spruces to plant in the front yard,” he said. “The one tree, at 24 years old, has grown to a height of 55 feet and is beautiful, so I suggested to my wife, ‘How about putting lights on the tree this year?’ She said yes – ‘let’s do it.’”

A land surveyor, Hugg said it was easy putting lights on the tree when it was 6 to 8 feet high.

“I stopped putting lights on it when I couldn’t reach the top from the ladder anymore,” he said. “I knew that to put lights on this year was going to be a major task.”

He contacted Greenwood Tree Service in West Creek and asked if the company would be interested in helping him.

“They got back to me and said absolutely,” he said. “ So I came home with 20 spools of multicolored lights, each 55 feet long and 110 lights per spool, making it a total of 2,200 lights. Greenwood, along with a little of my supervision, strung the lights along with a glowing white sphere at the top. I got home from work, waited for my wife to get home, and we plugged it in. It absolutely brought on tears of joy.”

But in 2017, the Huggs discovered that nearly all the spools were inoperative; after a painstaking process of making arrangements with the manufacturer, they were able to get new ones this year.

"I like the new look more," said Hugg. "The previous spools were vertical, but now we have them going around the tree."

Kelly Hugg said that every night, cars drive by very slowly or stop momentarily to soak in the scene.

“It can be seen from quite a distance,” she said. “We feel, and now know, it will heighten the Christmas spirit in whoever passes.”

— Eric Englund


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