OBX’s special “Christmas Houses’
‘I’m just a kid at heart’

By on December 14, 2023

(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
(Photos courtesy of the Hood Family)
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The Hood house is a must-see Christmas treat

(This is part of an ongoing Voice series on the OBX/s special ‘Christmas Houses’)

Daryl and Verdery Hood have spent the last 19 years perfecting the craft of Christmas at their seasonal display in Grandy. Located at 173 Carolina Club Drive, it’s Christmas with a distinctly Outer Banks twist.

The main attraction? Santa driving a boat, being pulled by nine reindeer and followed by a pod of dolphins jumping out of a sea of 10,000 blue lights. Santa’s boat is headed toward a forest of colorfully lit trees.

“It’s a very theme-oriented display,” says Hood. “If you’ve seen it, you understand what I’m saying. It’s like an Outer Banks kind of Christmas, sand on the boat, everything hand made.”

With everything built out of plywood by Hood, and painted by Verdery, and a total of 80,000 lights, the Hoods like to put their own spin on the holiday decorating. Not far from the boat are eight “sexy” elves and Christmas barmaids holding martini trays. As animals are near and dear to Hood’s heart, the scene displays dogs and cats popping out of presents, along with stockings topped with Santa hats and an eight-foot tall Frosty The Snowman. At the Hood’s display, there is no plastic in sight.

“So it’s, it’s really classy, and it’s fun. It’s a little bit of tacky, you know, with all the girls, but they’re classy girls,” says Hood.

Because everything has a theme and a personal meaning to it, Hood doesn’t like to add things to the display unless it makes sense. According to him, any additions he comes up with takes serious pondering. “It’s very unusual, so it makes it impossible to add to it every year because it has to be complementary,” he explains.

This year, two new features made the cut: A “sexy grinch” and a four-foot star with lights on it that Hood mounted and placed on his chimney 45 feet up in the air. “It was brutal. That thing’s heavy and awkward,” says Hood of the process of getting the star up there. But he is used to setting up large, heavy decorations, figuring it takes him around 60 to 80 hours to set up each year. He’s become an expert at awkward setups.

“I’m getting better. I’m getting quicker every year,” says Hood, adding how much fun he has with the entire process. Decorating for Christmas is very important to him “because I’m just a kid at heart.”

Hood didn’t have the easiest childhood. His parents separated when he was seven. “We lived in a pulp mill town, and we were dirt poor,” he says. “It was me and my two older brothers. And it was tough, man.”

For Hood, decorating for Christmas is a way for to live out the childhood he didn’t have, while spreading Christmas cheer to others who might need it.

“You know, honestly, Christmas, it kind of makes people be happy, and the caring and sharing and spreading love and goodwill towards men—and even if they don’t want to, even if they’re faking it, they still got to do it. Christmas time brings out the best in people whether they want to or not,” says Hood.

He even decorates his truck with 3,000 lights to spread the Christmas cheer around town, something many Currituck locals look out for. Hood believes that no matter what is going on in someone’s life, Christmas displays can give people that warm, comforting feeling that nothing else can. And he believes it’s needed now more than ever.

“In this crazy world that we’re living in, if you look at the news, and you look at most social media, where is the good and the happy and the positive?” he asks.

“I like doing things for others and what better way to do something for so many to bring them joy and happiness than with my displays at Christmas and Valentine’s [Day], the two times a year set out to remind people to slow down and let the people around know you care,” he adds.

The Hoods’ Christmas display will be in its glowing glory every night until 10 p.m. through January 5.

SEE ALSO: OBX special “Christmas Houses”: From ‘Hands of Gold’ to a heart of gold, Proceeds from Mennicucci Christmas House go to fight hunger

OBX’s special ‘Christmas Houses’: The Facendas’ Kitty Hawk Christmas Land

OBX’s special ‘Christmas Houses: Michael Coley’s Manns Harbor Christmas show


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Bob

    Where’s the photo of the car? I put lights on mine too, but nowhere near that many! 🙂

    Thursday, Dec 14 @ 5:48 pm
  • Liz

    Where can a person find a list of all the 2023 OBX Christmas Houses? Did you publish one? In previous years, you provided a “See Also” list of that particular year’s houses at the end of whichever house was being showcased.

    Sunday, Dec 17 @ 7:08 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Liz, we’ll make sure to do that with our next Christmas House story.

    Monday, Dec 18 @ 3:07 pm