California Home Transforms Into Winter Wonderland For The Holidays

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Photo Credit: sdolasia DOGOnews

For most Americans, the holiday season begins around Thanksgiving. However, for Kathy and Rombeiro and her dad, Edmundo, it starts in September, when they begin the laborious process of converting their Novato, California home into a winter wonderland. By the first Sunday of December, the ordinary suburban home is transformed into a magical “Christmas House,” complete with over 200,000 lights, fake snow, model trains, countless decorations and figurines, and even a real-life Santa Claus (Edmundo) on a sleigh.

Photo Credit: Sdolasia DOGOnews

The catalyst for this 26-year-old joyful tradition can be traced back to Edmundo’s childhood. As a young boy growing up in São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores off the coast of Portugal, he had fond memories of helping his mother set up a Nativity Scene each Christmas. When Kathy was old enough, Edmundo, who moved to America 48 years ago, decided to start a similar holiday ritual with her. Initially, the decorations were just meant for the family and friends to enjoy. However, that changed in 1990 when Edmundo noticed a neighborhood couple admiring his handiwork.

Photo Credit: Kathy Rombeiro

Kathy says, “Something inspired my dad. He asked the couple if they would like to see the decorations inside of the house, and there it all began. One couple turned into the second. A week went by, more people. The following year, we added another room, and from that point on our home started attracting thousands of people every year.” In 2016, the family welcomed a record 44,000 visitors (including 18 tour buses) during the holiday season.

Photo Credit: Sdolasia DOGOnews

While over a quarter of a century of curious strangers walking around the house would take its toll on most people, Kathy and Edmundo love the tradition and continue to add to the Christmas splendor each year. Now, along with the spectacular exterior, every room in the house, besides the master bedroom, brims with decorations. To help them with the increased work, the duo has recruited Kathy’s mother Mary Jo and cousin Tony Aguiar who are happy to pitch in for this joyous occasion.

Photo Credit: Kathy Rombeiro

Though the decor of the first four rooms changes each year, visitors will always be treated to a model train room, an angel room, and one dedicated to a replica of Edmundo’s hometown in memory of Kathy’s grandmother, the inspiration behind this fun tradition. Scattered through the house are several Christmas trees, a lighted holiday village, and a variety of other intricate displays. While the decorations are certainly a draw, what makes a visit to the Rombeiro Christmas House memorable are the family members who greet each visitor with a smile and a candy cane. It is no wonder the family receives thousands of thank you notes from people all over the world each year!

Though donations are accepted to help pay for the hefty electricity bill, there is no cost to visit this joyful house. Edmundo says, “Everyone is welcome. We open our hearts and arms, the way things are supposed to be. We just hope that we move people to have more love for each other.”

Photo Credit: Kathy Rombeiro via marinmommiesc.com

The Rombeiro Christmas House will remain open to visitors from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm until January 6, 2018. Come January 7, the family will begin the painstaking two-month process of disassembling the lights and decorations and storing them carefully until September. The hard work does not seem to faze Kathy, who says, “My inspiration is seeing the joy we bring to everyone. This time of year, people forget what the season is about. If I can bring the Christmas spirit to many or a few, that makes me happy.”

Do you have a favorite Christmas house you like to visit during the holidays? Let us know by adding your comments below.

Merry Christmas!

Resources: Kathy Rombeiro, marinmommies.com

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brimscatalystdecordedicateddisassemblingfazefigurineshandiworkinspirationinspiredintricatelaboriouspainstakingrecruitedreplicaritualsleighspectacularsplendorsuburban
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Reading Comprehension (10 questions)

  1. When does the holiday season begin for most Americans?
  2. Why does it begin it September for Kathy and Edmundo Rombeiro?
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Critical Thinking Challenge

What is your favorite Christmas or holiday activity? Why do you enjoy it...

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Vocabulary in Context

“Now, along with the spectacular exterior, every room in the house, besides the master bedroom, brims with decorations.”

In the above sentence, the word spectacular ...

202 Comments
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  • savage poogs548Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 9:52 am
    that is cool has heck
    • epicdude548
      epicdude548Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 4:38 pm
      wow
      • mr meWednesday, January 17, 2018 at 3:44 pm
        its cool.
        • spartan_josh
          spartan_joshWednesday, January 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm
          OMG Amazing😲
          • OliverWednesday, January 17, 2018 at 11:26 am
            cooool bombs
            • kevinTuesday, January 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm
              they must be ritch
              • hamstergamer
                hamstergamerTuesday, January 16, 2018 at 11:13 am
                I can't believe this!🤣 They spend so long to put it up and then take it down a month later?! I could never do this at all!
                • bjthegoat56
                  bjthegoat56Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:54 am
                  How much money is all this stuff??🤑
                  • MALLY LALLYTuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:49 am
                    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL LOVE THIS IDEA SOOOO CREATIVE😍😍😍😍😍😂😂😂
                    • jd_5150
                      jd_5150Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:19 am
                      Wow! Thats a lot of money I wonder if they do that for every holiday? Were do they store all of thoose decorations? How long does it take for them to out up and take down all of thoose decorations!?

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