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Spectacular Lit-Up Oak Tree Could Soon Go Dark

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - It's the time of year when we start to decorate our homes with holiday lights.

Some people go all out, while others are fine with just a string of lights around the house.

One home in Bloomington is known nationally for its Christmas lights. This week, Bob and Julie Little will turn on the 39,000 lights wrapped around a tall oak.

But this could also be the last year of this popular tradition.

Daylight does little justice for the towering oak outside the Littles' home, but when darkness falls, the tree shines bright with holiday cheer.

"We turned on the lights last night and they all work," Bob Little said. "It has become a tradition, and the best part is the way Julie and I feel in our hearts."

For 14 years, a simple light display has brought joy to countless families.

"It's Grand Central Station," a neighbor said. "There's limousines and buses, but it's nice to see everyone having a good time and enjoying it."

Yet, a Christmas tradition may be coming to an end.

Bob put his home on the market this spring. His wife, Julie, can no longer navigate a two-level home.

"It's tough getting around," Bob said. "It is what it is, we have to deal with."

For sale is 4,400 square feet on four acres perched above the Minnesota River Valley.

"Everybody wants this view," Bob said.

The potential buyer will also inherit 39,000 Christmas lights wrapped around one tree, but the promise to keep it lit can't be included in a purchase agreement.

"Hopefully, I can talk them into it, even if I have to come and be their assistant or apprentice for the first year or so to get the lights going," Bob said. "I hope they do it."

So while the fate of the tree hasn't come to light, for this year, at the very least, the oak will still illuminate the holiday season.

"I really believe in their heart that part of their decision for buying it would be what we've done all these years," Bob said.

Bob said he had an offer from a developer that fell through.

There's been interest in the home, but no solid offers.

He plans to turn the lights on Wednesday evening.

They'll stay on every night through the New Year.


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