How are the Sunset Hills lighted Christmas balls made?

GREENSBORO, NC – A holiday tradition that’s reached people all across the country started right here in North Carolina.

What You Need To Know

Sunset Hills decorates their neighborhood with lighted Christmas balls

Over 500 homes participate

This tradition also helps raise food and money for Second Harvest Food Bank

It’s a magical sight in the Sunset Hills neighborhood in Greensboro that’s been wowing folks since the mid-90s, but the tale of how they get these balls into the trees is almost a Christmas miracle.

“We’ve got to spool up the line so we can shoot these balls up,” homeowner Aubrey Ravenel said as he started putting up the balls.

Aubrey is hard at work spooling up line in preparation of hanging 60 lighted Christmas balls in his yard.

He does this every year with his family, and his 4-year-old son Beau loves to help hang them.

“It’s a cool project that we can kind of work on together,” Aubrey emphasized.

Aubrey says it’s a neighborhood effort because each family works together to put up thousands of Christmas balls, which decorates over 500 homes.

“Especially when you see after Thanksgiving and the neighbors are kind of all outside together putting the balls up, it’s just kind of fun,” Aubrey explained.

But how do these balls made out of chicken wire and lights get into the trees?

“Twelve ounce weight. It’s a weight that we use to shoot the balls or the lines up over the trees,” Aubrey said.

Once he gets the line up over the tree, he attaches the balls to the line and then hoists them up into the tree.

When his yard, along with all of his neighbors, is finished, he says it’s just magical.

“It’s fun to see all our hard work come to fruition,” Aubrey emphasized.

Aubrey says it’s fun to celebrate this achievement with family, friends and visitors.

“We’ll see neighbors. We’ll see people from outside the neighborhood come park and walk and enjoy the balls with their families,” he said.

He says this tradition is reaching people across the state and country.

The Greensboro neighborhood raises money and collects food for Second Harvest Food Bank, so as people walk around the neighborhood they can find boxes to donate.

Last year, the neighborhood collected 27,000 pounds of food and $80,000 in donations. They are also on track to reach record numbers this year.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the quantity of food collected.


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