WHITELAND, Ind.– Most teens don’t normally have a firm idea of what they want to do with their life, but that’s not the case for one 15-year-old Whiteland High School student. He might have already discovered his career path thanks in part to his passion for working and decorating with Christmas lights.
Payton Bohler is like most typical high school freshmen — he attends classes, participates in band and sports, and hangs out with his friends on the weekends. But when December rolls around, he takes on a demeanor that would make Clark Griswold from “Christmas Vacation” proud.
“It is almost like he is obsessed, ” Payton’s mother Tracy Bohler explained. “He started becoming fascinated with lights when he was about 9-years-old while watching his father put them up and wanting to help.”
The following year, Payton started drawing diagrams and outlines of how his father should put up the lights and where they should go. When the family ran out of lights, Peyton pulled money out of his own savings account to buy more. And that was when his mom and dad started to realize that this was more than a passing fad with Payton.
“I just love the opportunity to create and to see the finished product,” Payton said.
When Payton’s family moved to a rural area just east of Whiteland in Johnson County, he realized he could really expand and hone his light decorating skills as his family allowed him to light up everything and anything he wanted, which included the family home inside and out, the hen-house, the barn, the yard trees and even the dog house.
Payton likes to point out that there could be more lights, but finding ways to get electricity to his “creations” is the biggest issue. He lost track of how many strands of lights he used, but guesses the amount of light is somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000.
Payton’s efforts have not only been recognized by his neighbors but by the Town Hall of Whiteland. They asked him to come by and assist with decorating their building, something that has never been done before.
So while a future in decorating for theater production or something like that might be years off, decorating for Christmas 2017 continues with Payton putting up another light strand again and again. When asked if there will be an end to this year’s decorating, Payton replied, “Not if I can help it!”