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Woman Spends $45,000 To Transform Farm Into A Christmas Wonderland

Sowell's North Pole Christmas Light Display

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but just not for our bank accounts.

The National Retail Federations estimates that Americans will spend an average of $1,000 over the holiday season this year.

Gifts and food make up the majority of the expenses, but our wallets do take a bit of a hit when it comes to decking the halls of our homes.

On average, people in the U.S. will spend $215 on decorations, and this is why one woman is making headlines for spending $45,000 on her Christmas lights display.

Every year, around 50,000 people flock to Michelle Sowell's farm in Milton, Florida to experience her show-stopping North Pole Christmas Lights Display.

Sowell's Christmas wonderland spans about 15 acres and is complete with thousands of multi-colored lights, a carnival and beach area, a "religious" section, train rides, and a snow-themed area.

Visitors can meet Santa and play with the animals, including horses, a zebra, a camel, and even a kangaroo.

"They all call me the crazy Christmas lady!" Sowell told People in a recent interview.

The tradition of decorating the farm was started by Sowell's parents, and in 2003, she took over the task and has since made it "bigger every year."

Sowell and her family, including husband Terry Sowell, daughters Ashlie Abbott and Tiffany Bonner, as well as their husbands, spend three months setting up the display, which remains open all December long.

It is a lot of hard work that results in a very expensive power bill, but for Sowell, seeing the joy on the kids' faces makes it worth the effort.

"It makes me feel good, it makes all the work that we’ve done for months worthwhile. To see the kids get aboard the trains and pint and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and scream and yell, that’s what makes it worthwhile. That’s what it’s all about," she explained.

The impressive display has earned the Sowells a spot on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, where they will compete against families across the U.S. for a shiny trophy and the grand prize of $50,000.

If they win, Sowell plans on adding a giraffe to their lineup of animals.

“Just being a part of the The Great Christmas Light Fight show, that made my Christmas,” Sowell told the outlet. “To have that experience of that show, it’s just a once in a lifetime thing. It was a real positive experience.”

To find out how the North Pole Christmas Lights display stacks up against other decorations, you'll have to watch their episode when it airs next season.

What do you think of the Sowell family Christmas display?

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.