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Lights! Lights! Lights!

Ann Louden Lights3

Photography by Zach Freeman

I absolutely love looking at Christmas lights with my family.  David and I love impromptu nights when we all jump in the truck in our pajamas with hot cocoa and head out to hunt for the best lights of the season.  One stop we make every year, at least three or four times, is Ann and Malcolm Louden’s home.  Ann inspires me with her passion for the community.

A longtime senior administrator at TCU, Ann Louden’s professional work focuses on external relations for the University.  She has provided leadership for alumni, development and campaign activities at TCU and for the last six years worked with the Chancellor on special projects.  Best known for her work as chair of TCU’s Frogs for the Cure partnership with Susan G. Komen, Ann is a breast cancer survivor and an advocate for women’s health causes. An active volunteer in the community, Ann’s current board membership includes service as chair emeritus of the Community Foundation of North Texas, chair of the development committee for the Gladney Center for Adoption, and a Junior Mentor for the Fort Worth Club. Ann also serves as manager and mentor to singer/songwriter Tim Halperin, a former American Idol contestant.

For the last twenty years, Ann and her husband Malcolm have created one of the most breathtaking displays of Christmas lights in the city. She recalls, “It began when we first moved into our home the week before Christmas now two decades ago. The electricians still had lots of work to do and so I asked that while they were still around to throw some white lights in our trees. One thing led to another and we became the ‘Christmas light house’ in Fort Worth,” says Ann.

Ann Louden Light7

Ann Louden Lights5With every passing year, the Louden lights grew to a peak of over one million lights last year, requiring a six week installation.  On weekends, Santa and other Christmas characters arrived on the lawn to greet visitors with candy canes and 3D glasses.   Cars lined up for blocks, so off duty police assisted with the traffic as Ann played Mrs. Claus and listened to the Christmas wishes of hundreds of children.

“This year, we wanted to try a different look and incorporate music into our display.  So, we have invested in a 24 foot tree which displays computer-generated light patterns timed to holiday tunes.  You can look at the tree for a very long time and not see the same pattern repeated,” offered Ann.  But, the most exciting part of the new look is the synching of the tree to music.  More than 100 songs are programmed to the dancing lights.  The tree plays music which is also broadcast on FM 95.5 as visitors approach the estate.

“I never get tired of listening to the music and watching the tree,” Ann says. “Even though the music can be heard inside the house, it keeps me in the Christmas spirit, and I find myself singing along.”

“Christmas is about recalling memories, cherishing those we love, and also celebrating the most important Christian holiday of the year.  My mother died last year on Christmas day, and so this year will be hard.  Knowing that our lights can help others enjoy this season is one important way for me to find peace and meaning.  We hope visitors will come by often to be inspired.”

“I am also pleased that our music selection plays songs from Tim Halperin’s“Under That Christmas Spell” CD.   It was really awesome to be involved in the production of the CD and now it is fun to hear the tree play his tunes.”

Ann Louden Lights1

Photography by Zach Freeman


Ann Louden Lights2

Photography by Zach Freeman

Thank you to Ann Louden for taking the time to talk with us.  She is spreading Christmas Cheer everyday right from her home.  What can you do right from your home to help spread love and joy this season?  There is less than ten days until Christmas….time to spread Christmas cheer!

Posted by Kelly Breedlove at 6:52 AM

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