Family Creates Christmas Light Show To Highlight Addiction Struggle

By Maggie Ethridge 12/20/18

A Maryland couple have dedicated their massive Christmas light show to their daughter who is battling opioid addiction. 

Home displaying Christmas lights to highlight addiction struggle

In 2015, Jim Kurtz created a spectacular Christmas light show dedicated to the addiction recovery of his daughter, Caroline, and to those everywhere struggling with addiction. The light show was not only visually captivating but also synchronized the blinking lights to hit songs. 

In a newly released video reported by The Maryland Patch, the Kurtzes say that their daughter has relapsed and is again in recovery. Caroline has been in 22 recovery facilities in four states over the past seven years.

This year, Caroline’s mother and father have dedicated a special song in the light show to their daughter: "This Is Me" from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman.

The Kurtz light and musical show can be seen from half a mile away. Their home in Harford County is decked out with blinking lights, including a 50-foot-tall pine tree, which is the tallest decorated tree in town, as far as they know. The tree is visible from a Starbucks off MD 543 and is hung with oversized, old-fashioned and brightly colored bulbs. Jim Kurtz appreciates the show himself, telling The Patch, “It is amazingly beautiful.”

Kurtz originally began the light and music show in 2012 and received internet fame for the set piece orchestrated to the hit song, “Call Me Maybe.” Families struggling along with their loved ones battling addiction are becoming more transparent in an attempt to defeat the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction. Memoirs such as Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, and Tweak by Nic Sheff, are gaining national attention. Beautiful Boy is now a movie starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. 

Jim Kurtz gave The Patch the 2018 show scheduled songs and home information for anyone visiting or local who would like to take in this show dedicated to recovering from addiction.

The light show features "The Greatest Show," the theme from Star Wars, a dubstep version of "The Nutcracker," Griswold track, "12 Days of Christmas," "Christmas Vacation," "A Mad Russian's Christmas," "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," "This Is Me" and "God Bless the USA."

Where: 1205 Corinthian Court, Bel Air, MD

When: Friday, Dec. 7, to Monday, Dec. 31

Hours: 5-9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday; 5-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

How to tune in: Listen to 87.9 FM for the music.

Guests are asked to drive slowly and to refrain from blocking driveways in the neighborhood.

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.