PHOENIX — Two Valley families who’ve spent years spreading holiday cheer through elaborate Christmas light displays at their homes will be featured on ABC’s ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ on Thursday’s Season Finale.
The episode will feature two families from the Valley and two from Tucson. ABC15 caught up with the two families in Phoenix and Laveen.
Patti and Mel Tasker are legends in Laveen.
“We’re known as definitely the Christmas house,” said Patti.
For the better part of three decades, the couple has hosted a drive-thru Christmas display on their property. Some attractions shaped like zoo animals are made of repurposed pieces of scrap metal from household appliances.
Each year, the two take requests from neighborhood families for what cartoon characters they want to see as part of their display. Patti says they do about 25 new displays each year.
“Like Mr. Blippie, I don’t really know him, my friend requested him,” said Pattie.
A real Task for the Taskers is finding that holiday spirit to start putting up their 300,000 lights in late July so it’s ready for the holiday season.
“We start in the mornings then jump in the pool, come back out in the evening,” she said.
The Taskers say their electric bill during December is an estimated $500 more than it typically is in a mild weather month.
Instead of using the donations, they receive to pay off the bill, Pattie and Mel go out and buy gifts for visiting kids. On Wednesday, Mel was giving out stuffed owls and cats to families driving by.
Up in the Arcadia area of Phoenix, every inch of Lee Sepanek’s house is covered in Christmas lights – 275,000 of them. He says it takes two months to put up all his lights and one month to take them down.
“You got to be a little nuts to do this, it’s a big demand,” he said.
Known in the Valley as Christmas Lee, his display includes a flying reindeer that’s 75 feet high, hot cocoa from a carport turned Santa’s workshop, and three separate window displays including a photo of Lee with Santa when he was a baby.
“I tell everybody that’s where it started,” he said.
The Great Christmas Light Fight airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC15. The winner gets thousands in cash and a big trophy shaped like a Christmas light.
IF YOU GO:
Laveen house: 8211 S 63rd Ave Laveen, AZ 85339
Phoenix house: 4415 E. Calle Tuberia Phoenix, AZ 85018