Countdown to Christmas begins Thanksgiving Eve when Mr. Christmas lights up the night
When Luis Roldan and his wife Debbie moved to Hodges Run subdivision in Roscoe 17 years ago, he spent a lot of time leveling and improving his land. Each holiday season, the couple worked together creating and putting up spectacular Christmas displays in their yard.
Luis lost Debbie to cancer about seven years ago. He was overcome with grief. He knew how much Debbie enjoyed decorating their home during the Christmas season and wanted him to continue. “I promised her that I would carry out her wishes."
And so it began. Every year he turns his large front yard into a Christmas wonderland. He builds more and more trees, some as high as 30 feet, held in place by cables.
Working eight to ten hours a day, he has created a nativity scene, an 18- foot angel in the center of the yard, Santa Claus, reindeer and sleigh, and he has installed thousands of lights.
Something new gets added each year. “I build nearly everything myself, except for inflatables,” he said.
Last year, Luis took on the huge task (and expense) of switching to LED lighting, adding 1,500 new lights. He has also added 14 new trees.
Luis takes down the Christmas display shortly after the New Year and gets right to work brainstorming and getting ready for the next Christmas projects.
At age 83, he is active and stays busy all through the year, not just during the Christmas season. He takes care of his property, feeds birds, foxes, rabbits and raccoons and grows magnificent flowers, fruits and vegetables in the spring and summer, all the while continuing to work on new projects for the Christmas display.
Well, it’s almost show time. Luis’s eyes light up and a smile creases his face as he announces that the lights go on at precisely 4:49 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving evening. Every night until January 6, cars will be driving slowly through the subdivision admiring the spectacular scene. Luis said 3,500 people came to see the display last year.
Luis will begin a new chapter in his life in the spring. He and Linda Littlejohn, owner of R&L Ceramics in Roscoe are engaged to be married in May 2023. "It will be a big change in our lives, a new beginning."