This Feel-Good Friday story has an undeniable Christmas flair, as we are just a week shy of Christmas Eve.
From the New York Post:
In 2014, John Russo told his girlfriend, Toni Alessio, that if and when he beat throat cancer, he’d celebrate with a grand Christmas display for their Paramus, New Jersey, neighborhood to enjoy.
He beat the disease the following year — and started a decorating tradition that has brought joy for Russo, Alessio and locals alike every year since.
What a joy, not only to the neighborhood, but to Russo himself. Each year he does this, he celebrates beating cancer. The display changes every year, but always involves lights to timed Christmas music. This year, Russo added inflatable decor to go along with the lights. The entire show is about 40 minutes.
At 66-years old, putting up the lights can be quite a chore, but also a labor of love. In recent years, Russo has gotten some help.
While putting up the show can be taxing for the 66-year-old, he said knowing the happiness it’ll bring makes the task far easier.
“As far as setting it up, it’s aggravating and fun at the same time — but well worth it in the end when it all works,” he said.
Indeed, the twinkling inspiration has been named one of the best private seasonal shows in North Jersey, and the local police department has even gotten involved to help this year. For the first time, visitors can donate to the department’s annual holiday toy drive via a dropbox placed outside Russo’s home.
The local Daily Voice wrote about Russo’s new partnership with the Paramus, New Jersey Police Department:
This year, Russo partnered with the Paramus Police Department, and placed a dropbox outside of his Lozier Court home to support the department’s annual holiday toy drive.
“I think it’s a cool idea that the Russos are bringing Christmas to their neighborhood and that they want to enhance not only their neighbor’s holiday, but help support our toy drive by collecting toys for the less fortunate,” said Paramus Police Det. Lt. Jimmy Teehan.
“We’re excited that John wants to support our program in a new and exciting way.”
Russo told the Daily Voice his favorite part is hearing the kids screams of joy over the light display. He expressed a similar sentiment to the New York Post:
“The most inspiring thing is seeing the faces of people watching the lights, especially the kids,” Russo told The Post. “It’s even better when they’re seeing it for the first time.”
The Lights on Lozier display is at 181 Lozier Court in Paramus, New Jersey. The display runs Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturdays until 11:00 p.m.
What is the Season without lights? And what a wonderful way to bring joy during dark times from someone who has experienced and overcome the darkest of times.