AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Austin resident Jordan Maywald was a kid, his annual holiday tradition was stringing up Christmas lights with his dad. That tradition has continued into his 20s — give or take a few extra lights and 15,000 visitors.
For seven years, the Maywald family has raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through its annual Maywald Christmas Light Display, located at 10505 Twilight Vista in Austin.
This year, the Maywalds welcomed more than 15,000 visitors to their holiday display, raising more than $80,000 to fund 10 wishes. To date, the display has raised nearly $200,000 and granted 27 wishes.
“Nobody used to come out here. We’d always be like, ‘oh, is that a car coming to see our Christmas display?'” he said, smiling. “And now it’s like, the cars won’t stop coming.”
Each year, Jordan looks to up the ante of the display, scouring Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for unique and interesting finds. This year’s newest staple? A 17-foot-tall fiberglass Santa Claus.
“You don’t see that really anywhere else, and who puts that in their front yard?” he said. “But we do because we just love Christmas so much.”
Traditionally, the Maywalds have set a goal of $50,000 in funds raised for each season. This year, they superseded that by more than $30,000.
The Maywalds chose Make-A-Wish as its charitable beneficiary because of the ability to meet the children receiving the wishes. Those wishes have ranged from a young boy visiting Disney World with his family, to sending a girl to New York to shadow a photographer whose work she admired.
The wish that sticks out in Jordan’s mind though is one of a young girl who dreamed of having a scavenger hunt through the Maywald’s Christmas lights display. The Maywalds helped scatter gifts and clues across their property as she explored and completed the task.
The Maywalds recently learned that young girl had passed in October. But Jordan’s hope, and his determination behind this annual display, is that she was able to experience a moment of joy and levity every child deserves to have.
“Just to see, in that moment, her smiling? That’s what it’s all about.”