Luis Roldan puts the finishing touches on the holiday decorations at his home at 5524 Hodges Run. He has been creating Christmas displays on his front lawn in Hodges Run every year for 13 years. Lights go on for the season at precisely 4:47 p.m., Thanksgiving night.

By Jean Seegers
Luis Roldan is keeping a close eye on the squirrels around his home in Hodges Run in Roscoe. The pesky critters have eaten their way through countless strings of Christmas lights in the huge holiday display he has lovingly created over the last 13 years.
Rain water seeping into the light strings is another annoying (and expensive) problem he is continually forced to deal with.
But Roldan says it’s all worth it to keep his passion alive.
Thirteen years ago, he created the first Christmas scene on his front lawn: three hand-made trees and a manger. His wife Debbie was his willing assistant. Debbie continued to help until her health failed,
Roldan was devastated when he lost his wife in 2006. “I miss my wife so much. She loved the Christmas season. It’s because of Debbie that I do this every year.”
He also carries on the tradition for his daughter and son and six grandchildren.
Roldan, who will soon celebrate his 79th birthday, doesn’t take vacations, instead he brainstorms and tinkers and experiments all through the year to creates unique one-of a kind holiday decorations. “Every year I add more. I have built everything myself except the inflatables”
A true renaissance man, Roldan is a talented artist, musician, inventor, woodworker and gardener.
He came to American from Sanlorenzo, Puerto Rico with his parents and 15 siblings in 1959. Roldan spent all of his working years as an over-the-road truck driver. He lived in the Chicago area for several years before moving to Roscoe to raise his family.
Roscoe’s Mr. Christmas has started a family tradition. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without driving by the holiday illumination that lights up the neighborhood every year. Families living nearby say his Christmas spectacle has made them step up their own holiday decorating.
The Christmas season gets under-way when the lights go on at 5524 Hodges Run, at precisely 4:47 P.M. on Thanksgiving evening. Lights go off each evening at 10 p.m. On Jan. 6, Roldan takes down the smaller trees (under 16 ft), dismantles the displays and brings in all the strings of lights for another year.
Soon it will be time to start planning for next year.

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