Undeterred by 2004 lawsuit, Scottsdale man continues to create winter wonderland at his home

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- When it comes to holiday decorations, one Scottsdale man considers himself a dream maker.

Chris Birkett's house is more than just Christmas lights. It's a high-tech winter extravaganza. Birkett loves Christmas, and he isn't letting anyone stop him from creating what he calls his "winter wonderland".

"I think it's unbelievable that someone is so committed to Christmas and bringing joy, that they can do something like this," said neighbor Kathleen McDowell.

Birkett has been doing this all for free, since 1987.

"You know, every time I look at it, it's like people, when I see their faces looking at it," said Birkett. He went on to say it didn't come easy. In fact, he had quite the rough start, many years ago, just six blocks away.

The time: December 2004. For the first time. a neighbor moved in who didn't like Birkett's Christmas shenanigans.

That neighbor sued Birkett. The case go the attention of the New York Times, and from there, other media outlets.

"I open up the window, and there's all news stations out there," said Birkett. "I thought, 'Did I murder somebody? Did somebody die?' I didn't know what was going on."

His neighbors initiated charges of malicious noise-making, which included a possible sentence of up to six months in jail, and a $2,500 fine.

"You definitely want to hide under a rock," said Birkett. "You don't realize what the world has in store for you after that, but it was years. I was fighting in court for two and a half years of my life."

Birkett didn't end up behind bars, but was convicted, and paid the fine. The court saga, however, didn't deter him.

"I thought, what can I change, so I literally had to buy a new house to actively change the chemistry. To make sure I continually do what I do. That's how much I believe in Christmas."

Instead of backing down, Birkett expanded, making his holiday display even bigger and brighter at his new house.

"I added the cars, totally awesome," said Birkett.

On top of the Christmas lights. there's now an old Christmas western town in his new yard. filled with a holiday maze, suspension bridge, and some Christmas history.

"It has the bubble tree, but the bubble lights are from all different decades, all the way from the 1930's and all the way on above," said Birkett.

Birkett's pool has also been turned into the arctic, inspired by the movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and the island of misfit toys.

Birkett's persistence has finally brought some unexpected blessings In 2017, the Birkett family competed in the Great Christmas Light Fight against families in New Jersey, North Carolina and Missouri to win the episode.

As for the inspiration that kept him going, Birkett credits his family, especially the woman who raised him.

Now, Birkett says he's in talks to in a Christmas special on HGTV. He says he's so grateful for all these opportunities that are coming from his electric passion for Christmas and the holidays. Truly happy ending to what was a tumultuous journey.

As for his holiday display, it is open through December 31.