and Video Courtesy of Channel 6 News, Orlando
By Loren Korn
December 24, 2016
DeBARY - With just days left until Christmas, a
Volusia County family is in the middle of a holiday light fight.
The family is vowing to keep the cheer bright in front of their DeBary
home, despite a recent warning from their new homeowners association
that challenged their decorative display.
come here all the time," homeowner Gary Ruot said. "It
makes kids happy."
Ruot said he takes his decorations to heart. As each
year passes, the display gets bigger, and so does its
popularity around the neighborhood.
"It's a great
time," Ruot told News 6.
Ruot said the lights have become a local attraction,
with spectators from around the area stopping by to
catch a glimpse of "falling snow" in the Sunshine State.
But the Christmas cheer was compromised recently when
Ruot said he received a letter from his HOA that discussed the
aesthetics and financial value of his home.
He said the letter ultimately requested that the Ruot's remove the
"I don't think it's
going to cause a lot of problems or hurt anyone's feelings
and not ruin the property value," Ruot said. "It's putting
smiles on people's faces."
Ruot told News 6 that one of the most important smiles was
from his son, who was diagnosed with Leber's disease last
year. He can only see through his peripheral vision.
"I decided to make the American flag because he's very
patriotic," Ruot told News 6. "It's really going to stand
out with bright LED lights. That way, he can see it."
Ruot said he's going to stand by
his spirit of Christmas and he's insistent that he'd rather pay a fine
than tear down his tradition.
"If the kids have a smile on their face," Ruot said, "I'll deal with it
News 6 has reached out to the HOA for comment but has not heard back
from the organization.