Orangeville Christmas Nite-Lights Patrol helps community find festive displays with annual list

December 7, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Gail Powell

What began as a fun activity to showcase creative holiday lawn and light decorations in 2020 has grown to be more than three Grinch heart sizes bigger than Michelle Hartley could have ever imagined.

“Before our Orangeville Christmas Nite-Lights Patrol Facebook list there was our Orangeville Hallowe’en Haunt Patrol list,” said Orangeville resident Michelle Hartley. 

“We started with a few dozen houses in 2020 and a few hundred Facebook followers, now we have over 1.4 thousand members on both our Facebook pages and a lot more homeowners participating.”

Three years ago, the Orangeville mom of five decided to make a Facebook group with a list of Halloween-decorated houses in Orangeville for residents to drive past or walk by. It was COVID times, and with family and friends unable to connect in person, Hartley started listing festively decorated house addresses on the Orangeville Hallowe’en Haunt Patrol (OHHP) Facebook page for fun.

For two weeks, during that first spooky drive-by season, Hartley’s inbox inflated with messages, continuously adding homes to the list until Oct 31.

“I woke up on Nov 1 that year, to a lot of messages asking me if there would also be a list for Christmas decorated houses too,” Hartley explained. 

“I was tired, and I hadn’t really any intention of doing a list for Christmas – but I’m sure glad I did it. Not just for the community involvement, but honestly, it’s been a great bonding experience for me and my youngest son, Zac, who has helped me with the drive-by list since he was 8 years old.”

Hartley’s son and “co-captain” Zac first supported his mom with the initiative by conveying to her the house numbers and addresses to be added to the list.

“I like to go out with my Mom,” said Zac Hartley. “It’s fun and nice to go out with family, and I enjoy doing it. I like seeing the houses, I like how nice all the people are to us when we stop by their houses.”

Residents now recognize Hartley and her son around town as the pair navigate their way through the neighbouring streets, documenting decorated houses for the comprehensive list. Hartley expressed how this initiative means much more to her and her family than she first predicted.

“I am very proud of us and all the work we have put in together,” Hartley said. “As a Mom, I’ve used this opportunity to talk with my son about building community and paying it forward. Even my adult children, at one time or another, have been “voluntold” to help in various community events,” she mused. “But all joking aside, it’s been a great way to spend time together. We have the best life conversations with one another too.”

Hartley is grateful to the Orangeville community for continuing to help build this project into a fun and positive seasonal event. She’s now searching for committee members to lend a hand with the drive-by list project. Hartley’s hoping to have an established committee meet there once a month throughout the year (with the exception of the summer) at the Mill St. Library boardroom.

“To the readers of The Orangeville Citizen and the Orangeville community, I want to thank you for all your positive feedback and tips, and continued list building. Please keep sharing and adding more homes to our list,” she said. 

“We want to hear from as many homeowners as possible in the next few weeks of December so that they can be showcased on our Facebook page.”

For more information about the Orangeville Christmas Nite-Lights Patrol Facebook page, visit or connect with Michelle Hartley via email

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