The Union Recorder

December 6, 2013

Lights, lights, more lights

Reindeer Flight School lights up neighborhood

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder


Santa and his helpers have adorned the home of Richard and Sandra Phillips with new additions to the Reindeer Flight School. 

“We added about 5,000 more lights from last year. We have 11 green Christmas trees that are decorated and nearly 100 reindeer,” Sandra said. “Everything in our barn display is different and we have a new sleigh and reindeer in the garden.”

Since the Reindeer Flight School began in 2007, the Phillipses have given visitors a feast for the eyes by adding several new handcrafted and donated items each year. This year, guests can expect to see Santa and his elf on an animated see-saw, Tweety Bird, Clifford the Big Red Dog, dancing candy canes, angels, 10 snowmen, polar bears, three moose, a moving Rudolph, horse and carriage, a mice choir and several other characters and lighted decorations.

“The Reindeer Flight School started because Pampa — the semi-retired elf — needed a hobby. He enjoys children so much that he wanted to do something that the community can take advantage of. We came up with the Reindeer Flight School because it’s not like any other display in town,” Sandra said. “It’s grown not only in reindeer, but other animals and characters as well.”

Visitors are welcome to stop by to take photos with Santa from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, with his final appearance on Christmas Eve. Located at 101 Sportsman Circle NE, the home will continue to be lit every night through Tuesday, Dec. 31. 

“Santa is more than willing and looks forward to talking to each child individually and seeing lights with them if it’s not crowded. We welcome children to bring their letters to Santa and sit in his lap and discuss what they would like to have for Christmas,” Sandra said. “We have several families whose children insist on coming four times throughout the season. Every time they drive down Highway 441, the children will point at the road and say that Santa lives down there.”

The Phillipses accept donations of holiday items from friends and members of the community year-round to help grow the Reindeer Flight School.

“Any type of Christmas item that someone has and they don’t want to use it, we’ll work with it, amend it or donate it to someone that really needs it,” Richard said.

Thanks to generous local and out-of-town visitors, the Phillipses are capable of enhancing their home each Christmas season.

“We have so many people who insist of giving us money, but we feel uncomfortable with Santa taking cash, so we provide a donation mailbox,” Sandra said. “All of the funds that are donated go toward our electricity bill. Leftover money goes toward maintaining everything. Donations are optional.”

Other family-oriented Christmas light displays can also be seen at:

• Carrington Woods neighborhood

• Cords Bridge Road

• Cambridge Drive

• Robinson Johnson Road

“We’re old enough to remember that giving and sharing was important for the holidays, and we’re trying to continue that tradition,” Sandra said. “We enjoy making memories with children and their parents. We love to see the lights in their eyes.”

For more information, call the Reindeer Flight School at 478-452-6506 or email