The Great Christmas Light Fight

North York couple is the first Canadian family to be featured on ABC’s reality show The Great Christmas Light Fight.

Things are usually merry and bright at the De Sario family household in North York, Ont. — so bright, in fact, that every year crowds gather from near and far to gawk at the incredible light display put together by Pasqua and Amatore De Sario. And this year, the fantastic show (which has even been dubbed the “De Sario Family Festival of Lights”) was enjoyed by viewers across North America as it became the first Canadian project to be featured on ABC’s hit reality show The Great Christmas Light Fight last night.

“[The show] approached us in June, and at first we were a bit skeptical,” says Pasqua De Sario. “Americans are tough to compete with — they go all out!” Plus, she adds, her husband was reluctant to start setting up the Christmas decorations in August in order to comply with the show’s timeline. “He said, ‘The neighbours are going to think we’ve really lost it!’”

But the couple’s adult daughter, Angela, finally convinced them, and they agreed to be the first family north of the border to show off their decorating skills in the series’ fourth season. The two-hour-long episode aired on Monday, Dec. 12, with the De Sarios “fighting” three other families, all based in the U.S. And while they didn’t take home the prize, Pasqua says the work was all worth it — as it is every year.

“The lights have been a family tradition for a long time, but for the past 17 years we’ve been collecting money for SickKids,” says Pasqua. They were inspired to add a philanthropic twist to their hobby when Angela was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. And while their daughter is now healthy, the De Sarios continue to raise funds for the hospital, having raised almost $144,000 over the years — and $15,000 in 2015 alone.

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Amanda Storey

Amanda Storey

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