Bulloch County family turns farm into Christmas lights show

BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Each Christmas season, one Bulloch County family turns their farm into a drive-through light show.

The Thompsons love Christmas and sharing it with others, but their celebration now helps make Christmas happen for thousands of needy people.

Three generations of Thompsons are getting ready to unveil their farm's 2017 lights. They started the tradition a dozen years ago with no idea it would become such a draw.

"It took about one night to realize what was happening and that we were going to grow it every year," said Roy Thompson, TMT Farms.

"Christmas blow-ups and reindeer and manger scenes...Roy says you can take anything, a piece of plywood, put lights on it and make it pretty," said Deborah Thompson, TMT Farms.

The drive-through tour stretches more than a mile-and-a-half. They don't charge admission, but they invite people to donate canned goods, toys, or money which they then donate to local teams that help the needy.

"Where this started as a light display, for us, it's turned into a mission," Deborah said.

Then last year, someone broke in and stole more than 100 toys. People rallied and donated even more.

"The worst thing that's ever happened out here was the toys got stolen. The best thing - or one of the best things - was the toys get stolen," Roy said.

They say two things give them the Christmas spirit...seeing the lights bless visitors, and their visitors bless others.

"It's seeing the sparkle in a child's eyes when they hand you the food or the toys or whatever because you know, they're helping someone," Roy said.

Just how big has this become? Last year, the Thompson family counted 35,000 cans, vans, and buses. They guess-timate that there were over 300,000 visitors.

They turn the lights on a 6 p.m. each night and shut them off at 11:30 through Christmas.

Click here for more information on TNT Farms.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.