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One man's Christmas spirit stays lit up by families across North Alabama

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Dr. Higginbotham tribute

Tribute to Dr. Higginbotham at Hall's house

A Christmas tradition is staying lit up by families across North Alabama.

For anyone who grew up in Huntsville, the name Dr. Higginbotham probably rings a "jingle" bell. He was the real-life Clark Griswold. People from all across North Alabama would come to Horseshoe Trail and marvel in his display.

When he passed away in 2019, his collection of lights was distributed throughout the community to keep his Christmas spirit shining.

"It makes me feel happy that people are able to come here and escape from reality for a little bit," said Nick Hall.

Hall has been decorating his house with elaborate Christmas displays for years, ever since he felt the spark as a little kid.

"This all started as a hobby when I was a kid, when I was 7 years old. I was kind of inspired by Dr. John Higginbotham," he said.

Hall was one of thousands of people who got swept away in the magic of Higginbotham's house.

"One of my childhood memories was going to see the little towns that John had put together," said Hall.

When Higginbotham passed away in 2019, his family donated his displays to people across North Alabama in hopes of keeping his Christmas spirit alive.

"It's really neat to see his stuff being spread all over, and we get people that come through all the time that say they remember that when they were a kid, and that's what it's all about," said Hall.

It's a small display that brings back years of memories.

"We all used to go to Horseshoe Trail and see Dr. Higginbotham's display. So this is a nice step towards replacing that and a nice honor towards him," said Michael Spaulding, who was enjoying the display with his entire family.

Now, Higginbotham's Christmas spirit is bringing light to new memories for years to come.

"That's what it's all about, making memories with everyone's families," said Hall.

When Hall isn't decorating his own home, he's decorating others with his company, Holiday Lighting Solutions.

The Halls will keep their magical Christmas display lighted through New Year's Day.

Another home honoring Higginbotham is in Preston Valley. They will have their display up through Jan. 2.

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