Phoenix man decorates home early to spread Christmas cheer amid pandemic

It's not even Halloween, and it appears some have skipped the spooky season and went straight to Christmas.

For more than 30 years, Lee Sepanek, also known as "Christmas Lee," has turned his home near 44th Street and Camelback Road into a giant light display, and this year is no different, as he is nearly finished decking out his home in Phoenix for all to see.

"We started Sept. 1 and we're not done yet. We're about 90% done," Sepanek said. "There's an arch going over this driveway, blowups on the roof. All that dark area won't be dark. The ground will be lit up."

For 2020, Sepanek started decorating early due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, saying, "Due to COVID, I figured maybe I can spread the crowds out. Maybe if people start coming, I'm going to do the weekends leading into Thanksgiving Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and once Thanksgiving starts, it will be our regular hours, which is usually 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m."

In between the blowups, the lights, the displays, and a hefty electricity bill, Christmas Lee says all the hard work is worth it.

"It's my art. It's my way of expressing myself. It's something that I have done now for 34 years, and it's kind of what I do, and it's rewarding when people come here and come with little kids. Some people can't afford to go to Disneyland, and this is kind of like Disneyland, and it's important to a lot of people," Sepanek said.

This year's display will be a little different.

"I don't know how we're going to do it this year with COVID. I've checked with the city. As long as I don't bring anyone inside, they're cool with it, and people can wear masks. It's up to them," he said.