If you know where to look, you can find some brightly decorated holiday homes in the Martinez and Pleasant Hill areas.
One of the more elaborate is a home on Laurel Court off Pleasant Hill East Road in southern Martinez.
The house belongs to John and Casey Stratmeyer and their two children, ages 5 and 6. The Stratmeyers start decorating the week after Halloween and by mid-December the entire front half of their house is filled with lights, inflatable figures and cardboard cutouts (see video).
Casey Stratmeyer said they started the tradition when they moved in almost four years ago. Each year, the decorations become more plentiful. This year, they added 20 strands of lights.
"In a few years, it'll probably look like the Griswalds," she said.
The Stratmeyers do have a budget to which they stick closely. They purchased LED lights last year, which has reduced their electricity bill and allowed them to buy more decorations.
The reason they deck out their house is simple.
"We just love Christmas," Stratmeyer said.
Neighbors on the street have followed suit. There are some eye-catching lit-up homes in the Laurel Drive neighborhood.
The same is true along Boyd Road in Pleasant Hill. That street has at least a half-dozen well-lighted houses.
Nearby on Patterson Boulevard is a house with as many colors as the rainbow. The five large trees in the front yard are each adorned in a different color. One is purple, another is green while the others are red, yellow and blue. The smaller trees are splashed with orange lights There are also white lights on the lawn, hedge and house.
Laura Weber said her husband, Adam, got the idea to decorate the front trees in 2005 and has been doing it every year since.
This year, their twin 6-year-old son and daughter were old enough to help.
Each year, the lights and decorations are slightly different, but the concept is the same.
The dripping lights on some of the trees came about after the couple visited Rome in 2008 and saw them there.
"My husband just really likes to do it. It's something creative for him to do," said Weber.
Glenview Drive in southern Martinez also has a selection of nicely decorated homes. So does nearby Center Avenue.
Let us know if there are other houses that are your favorites. Add your photos to this story, too.