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Times Review Deck the Halls

The Hartmann home in Riverhead. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Driving along the North Fork’s main drag, it’s clear that some families take Christmas decorating a little more seriously than other.

The Times Review staff toured the following six North Fork homes as part of our annual “Deck the Halls” competition. The winner, the Perivolaris family of Mattituck, received a $1,000 gift card to Riverhead Building Supply.

And now you can visit these pretty properties for yourself.

We also recommend touring these 10 beautifully decorated public spots.

First Place
The Perivolaris Family
1155 Love Lane, Mattituck

Times Review Deck the Halls contest
The Perivolaris home in Mattituck. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Although some of the family’s decorations date back to another time and place, the farmhouse’s overall style, and the way the Perivolarises decorate their property, is classic North Fork.

From the string of lights, holly and golden bells on a small lighthouse figure overlooking Mattituck Inlet, to the ornaments lining their chicken and duck coop, a clear sense of place emanates from their home.


Attention to detail is key to the Perivolarises’ decorations. Prepared over a few weekends from Thanksgiving to mid-December, the family spaces out its many wreaths, bulbs and displays, leaving no corner of the property bare. Even their son’s batting cage featured lights this year, and some outdoor speakers were used to play holiday music. Meanwhile, a front bay window features a Christmas village display.

The Runners Up

The Hartmann family
60 Further Lane, Riverhead

Times Review Deck the Halls
The Hartmann home in Riverhead. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

John Hartmann said he has no idea exactly how many pieces he has, but it’s clear the family had more decorations than anyone else who entered our contest this year. Hartmann has been decorating the outside of his house with the help of his son for more than 15 years.

Among the unique touches is a Christmas countdown clock in front of the house showing how close we are to Christmas Day, right down to the second. Other touches include a snowman with a thermometer, which displayed at temperature of 30 degrees at the time of our visit, and 34 inflatable decorations.

The Padden family
442 Deep Hole Road, Calverton

Times Review Deck the Halls
The Padden home in Calverton. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

In the three years we’ve been judging the Deck the Halls competition, the Padden family home is the only one where lights are synchronized to music you can play through your car stereo during your visit.

Programing all the songs through computer software is a monumental task, but one homeowner Chris Padden has been happy to take on the past two years. It’s also a real crowd-pleaser.

In total, the property has 40 inflatable decorations, including a Jurassic Christmas section with holiday-themed dinosaurs. On another part of the property, Santa can be seen popping out from behind an opening outhouse door.

The Pasca family
18900 Main Road, Mattituck

Times Review Deck the Halls
The Pasca family in Mattituck. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

A newcomer to our contest, this highly visible Mattituck display earned the highest marks of any first-time entry.

Tony and Kathy Pasca said they’ve been decorating the house for more than a decade but have begun taking things to the next level over the past couple of years.

What you might not realize as you pass by is that many of the Pascas’ decorations were designed by hand, including most of the dozen Christmas trees in the front yard and the star-shaped lights on the front of the colonial house. A penguin pond, classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer characters and, of course, Christmas Yoda also caught our judges’ attention.

Worth Mentioning

The Geiss home
2250 Sigsbee Road, Mattituck

It's always a treat to visit the Geiss family home on Sigsbee Ave. in Mattituck. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
It’s always a treat to visit the Geiss family home on Sigsbee Road in Mattituck. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

This house is one we’ve visited three times, and it earned two honorable mention votes this year. When we stopped by, a family was walking around the yard admiring the property’s collection of inflatables, which feature many holiday-themed cartoon characters sure to please children. A handcrafted wooden manger is also a top decoration.

The Smith Family
44 Cedar Court, Laurel

It began snowing when we visited the Smith home in Laurel. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
It began snowing when we visited the Smith home in Laurel. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Homeowner Laura Jens-Smith said she entered the contest for the first time this year — earning one honorable mention vote — after reading about it in the newspaper. She has a traditional Dickens-style village inside the home and said the contest forced her to decorate outdoors more than she usually might.

“I blew so many fuses,” she joked. “I called my neighbor and I’m like, ‘Can I connect to your house?’ ”