SEVERN, MD — Robbie Mamula believes in the Clark Griswold method of decorating his yard with Christmas lights and inflatables: More is better. There is no restraint in his holiday look, the house is plastered with a couple thousand lights, while an obnoxious number of inflatables pack his yard, he said.
And Mamula, 49, and the father of two boys, wouldn’t have it any other way. “You come up to my house and it’s just puking Christmas,” he told Patch.
Mamula draws visitors from all over the state to his house at 1545 Ringe Drive in Severn. That expression of joy is even more important in the year of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
“Houses like this are what we need to bring us joy and smiles when this is going on,” said Mamula, whose wife is a nurse.
When he started 10 years ago Mamula had six inflatables and one set of arches.”It’s been a build every year.
In the last five or six years the crowds have really taken off, with visitors coming from Baltimore, southern Maryland and Montgomery County, as well as locally.
Last year his display, dubbed Mamulaville, sported 35 inflatables; this year it is up to 63 elements. Plus, the family’s home is covered with nearly 1,700 feet of Christmas lights, and the trees are festooned with lights.
A sidewalk framed with 25 lighted arches to mimic a tunnel complete the festive look.
Each year he shops the post-Christmas sales for features to add to next year’s brighter and bigger look. He estimates he’s spent $5,000 on lights and decor, which would probably cost $15,000 to $20,000 if he’d paid full price.
“The way I justify my expenses is that I know they cost a lot more than when I bought them,” said the bargain shopper.
“I love the way it looks,” Mamula said. “I love driving up to my house and seeing the house. There’s plenty of nice displays, but nobody has the obnoxiousness of 35, now 63, inflatables.”
His goal is to be up and running by Nov. 20, he finished exactly on that date this year. He starts checking bulbs in October, and the week before Halloween Mamula was up on house installing lights.
The lights are on from 4:45 to 10 p.m. daily. Mamula will take them down between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Visitors may drop off Toys for Tots items and warm weather clothes for churches. Mamula leaves a bin out front and brings it inside every night to collect the donations. You can donate via Paypal at email@example.com.
One year somebody dropped off almost 50 Barbie dolls.
“The generosity is amazing. It’s awesome. It’s great to see,” Mamula said. “People’s generosity is great, especially this year when it’s so needed.”
You can find updates on his Mamulaville — Happy Festivus Facebook page.
Patch Field Editor Jacob Baumgart contributed reporting to this article.