Boyum displays Christmas spirit for over 20 years

Trying to capture all of Mike and Janelle Boyum’s Christmas lights and decorations in frame is no easy task. Mike Boyum has been avidly displaying lights around the holidays for over 20 years.

NEW ULM — Mike Boyum takes pride in showing off his extravagant collection of lights and decorations each Christmas season.

Boyum, who lives at 418 North Washington with his wife Janelle, said that he’s been setting up lights at their residence since they moved there in the early 2000’s and even before then at previous homes.

The mass of lights attract quite the crowd and in the first five minutes alone that I visited with Boyum, several cars drove by gradually to get a glimpse of Boyum’s hard work. That hard work takes Boyum several three-day weekends and hours a day to set up.

“Usually, I work four-day weeks — 10 hour days,” Boyum said. “So I work Monday through Thursday, then I’ve got Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s [to set up decorations] and usually I start in the morning and in an average week, I probably put 15 hours in.”

Putting in the work to set up the lights is one thing, but Boyum still has to take the decorations down each year and store them as well. Boyum has one neighbor that lets him set up decorations in their yard, and he has another neighbor that lets him help store some of his decorations in their shed.

One of the poinsettias Boyum made by hand. The homemade poinsettias are some of Boyum’s favorite decorations and each took about five hours to make.

The other lights and decorations go into Boyum’s garage and attic. Boyum said that the decorations are a little hard to store, but he finds the room for it.

So why does Boyum spend so much time every year putting up lights? The answer to that question is quite simple. He enjoys it.

“I just do it because I like doing it,” Boyum said. “My hobbies — I used to hunt, but I’m more of a fisherman. But I even do this at Halloween. I’ve got the house decked out at Halloween. I’ve been doing this for probably over 20 years already. When we lived up on Jefferson Street in like 2000-2001 and when I lived in a little trailer house out by Kraft, and I put lights on that thing too.”

Boyum said that he likes putting up the old-fashioned lights and is proud of his work.

“A lot of people will do the laser lights,” Boyum said. “But to me it seems more natural and traditional if you put the regular old lights up.”

Boyum said that whenever certain lights burn out, he will fix it, but he also added that he has been fortunate with several of his lights continuing to work from year to year.

Boyum joked that his wife will sarcastically ask him each year if he has put enough lights up yet.

Boyum said that some of his favorite decorations are homemade poinsettias that took about five hours apiece to make. One of the poinsettias is blue and gold and is next to a teddy bear of lights in the front yard, while another is red and gold and more near his neighbor’s house.

When walking around Boyum’s house, you will see a backyard with even more decorations and lights.

New Ulm shows itself to be a town full of wonderful decorations each holiday season, and Boyum is just one great example of several homes that go above and beyond when Christmas time rolls around. For those who haven’t yet hopped in their car and drove around town looking at decorations this year, these photos alone should show that it’s certainly something worth considering doing.

A glimpse into Boyum’s decked-out backyard featuring reindeer, a path of lights and several trees made up of lights.

Boyum has made setting up Christmas decorations a regular hobby each season. When the holiday season begins , so does Boyum’s show of lights.


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