Long Island Couple Keeps Christmas Cottage Tour Despite Pandemic

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Everyone has those neighbors, the ones who go all out for the holidays. In Farmingdale, Long Island, they're the Sputos.

Doing more than hanging holiday lights on the front porch, Kathryn Sputo’s entire home transforms for the holidays. Each wall, shelf and room is filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, even the bathroom.

"This is our toothbrush tree," Mrs. Sputo said as she gestures to the Christmas tree at the corner of her bathroom decorated with multiple toothbrushes as ornaments and a roll of toilet paper as the star.

An average person might have boxes full of ornaments at home, Mrs. Sputo has rooms full.

"We have a trailer double garage two sheds a basement bathroom and a tub," she said.

Everywhere you turn—there’s holiday cheer. A life-size Mrs. Claus watches over the kitchen and for “A Christmas Story” fans, there are four leg lamps as well as a Ralphie sculpture wearing a pink bunny suit.

For years, neighbors have flocked to the Main Street home around the holidays. But this is no ordinary year because of the coronavirus.

"I’m watching everyone lose their spirit. They’re either very frightened or angry," Mrs. Sputo said. That's why she has decided to keep the spirit alive by continuing with the annual tour of her home -- with some new changes to follow the public health guidelines.

"We can do this. We just have to be safe about it, the masks, social distancing," she said. There will be no large crowds this year. Visitors will have to wear face coverings and only one group can walk through the home at a time.

Santa is going to be greeting visitors outside the home to keep a social distance. The house on Main Street will be open seven times before Christmas Day.

The Blanchard family on Thursday night stopped by with their 3-year-old excited to see Santa. It’s their second year in a row to visit the Sputos' Christmas cottage.

Gary Blanchard said he just wanted his daughter to see Santa and enjoy the holidays.

It's all also for a good cause. Mrs. Sputo annually raises funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through donations from the tour.

"People that are upset and lost their Christmas spirit. when they come here...they find it," she said.

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