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Homeowner Spotlight - The Story Behind Your Favorite Christmas Light Displays

Posted on December 25, 2022
Chris Sileo's lights in Orlando, FL
The Sileo Family Lights in Oviedo, FL

One of our favorite parts of putting these tours together is speaking with the passionate people who dedicate countless hours to transforming their homes into holiday masterpieces.

A lot of owners jump at the opportunity to share what makes this time of year so special to them.

From holiday traditions to heart-warming moments, it’s always nice to hear what makes each house, family, and light display so unique.

In this interview, we spoke with Chris Sileo. He’s a family man from Florida and runs a successful Real Estate business and marketing agency.

As a father of young children, this Christmas tradition continues to grow and become an important part of their holiday season! Here’s what he had to say about this holiday season: 

What inspired you to start your Christmas light display? 

I started decorating for Christmas over a decade ago, and it has only grown since. My three young kids have inspired me to do more and get different decorations, which is a great contribution!

What better way than to illuminate the yard and house for all the neighbors and people who pass by to see?! I take great pride of ownership in putting it together!

What would you say makes your house unique? 

I like to program the musical light show myself and set the music to go with the lights.

I use modern, upbeat songs for the display. During certain parts of each song, different features light up based on the lyrics and I can incorporate any Christmas song into the show!

I also take down most of the decorations after Christmas but I leave up a few things and switch the music to more New Year’s based songs like “Kiss Me At Midnight” and “Welcome to the Future."

What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? 

I wanted to say the “cold” weather but that’s pretty rare in Florida… So the part I enjoy most is people seem nicer in December. I know it’s a stressful season, but people tend to be happier throughout, which is refreshing.

I also love the decorations, not just in yards and on houses, but in stores, at Disney, on the streets, and everywhere else we go.

Do you have a favorite Christmas family activity or tradition? 

For the past few years, we’ve been going to Fort Wilderness a week or two before Christmas.

We rent a golf cart, which seems to be the most fun for my daughter, and we even bring our own supplies to decorate the tent or cabin, campsite, and the golf cart!

How long have you been putting up your Christmas lights? 

I’ve been doing it for over a decade now. Initially, I just had a “snow land” and some fresh Christmas plants, but it has grown to the entire yard and roof full of lights and decorations!

Image of phone, Built Story lights App - Orlando
There are two Orlando-area Lights Tours to enjoy.

What’s your favorite part about having a Christmas light display? 

It’s the fact that my daughter now helps me set everything up. She LOVES going on the roof with me and laying out the lights” (but really to get a new view of the neighborhood).

She helps with the plugs, tools, and everything else that’s needed. I love doing that stuff with her!

Do you help decorate any other homes or just yours?

I actually started decorating other businesses and homes about 5 or 6 years ago. I get paid for them, but for the past couple of years, I decorate a house or two each year for free.

I’m a huge supporter of my community and love to help in areas that have a little less money, it really helps to light up the town.

If you could say there was a theme to your display, what would it be? 

I guess the theme would be “Musical Christmas”. There isn’t too much focus on a large theme, other than Christmas scenes and music playing.

I typically don’t like inflatables, but I have recently put up some Mickey and Olaf inflatables for the kids.

Do you currently accept donations or raise money for a notable cause you’d like people to be aware of? 

I do! Each year the organization selected changes. One year I raised money for Running 4 Heroes, which gives to families of fallen First Responders.

This year the money goes towards The Sharing Center, which provides clothes, food, training, showers, and so much more for the homeless in our community.

And finally, what’s your favorite holiday tradition? 

It used to be watching “Love Actually” while decorating the Christmas tree, but that’s not a “kid-friendly” movie, so that tradition is out-the-window! 

Now, my favorite tradition is our Fort Wilderness trip and spending time with my kids, away from all the daily grinds of life!

They love watching “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” and “Home Alone”, so that is slowly becoming an annual occurrence. We also attend the Christmas Eve service each year at our Church, which is always different from the regular service.

Learn More

Check out the twinkly homes of Orlando in two self-guided tours--one that winds through Oviedo, Winter Park and Casselberry.. and another through Conway and Belle Isle.

It’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Happy holidays!

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