Christmas Illuminations Tour for Somerville Journal

Sometimes photojournalism is serious. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s boring. Occasionally, it’s driving around Somerville taking pictures of the best Christmas lights.

The Illuminations Tour is an annual event put on by the town of Somerville. Participants buy tickets and take a trolley tour through different neighborhoods to see the displays residents have erected this year. I drove to the displays rather than riding on the trolleys. Here’s what I saw. I’m not huge on Christmas, personally, but while I was shooting for the Somerville Journal that night I photographed some people who embodied the friendly, generous spirit I imagine Christmas is supposed to be about.

I hope your winter traditions are as bright as the Illuminations Tour this year. See you in 2020.

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A leg lamp shines in the attic window of a house on Central Street.
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Todd Sargent stands in front of his house on Summer Street. It took him 12 hours to cover it in lights and perfect his money-themed display. “It’s all about the money in Somerville,” he said.
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A lighted figurine of Joseph kneels in a creche display at a house on Springfield Street.
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One of the four Somerville Illuminations Tour trolleys rolls down Springfield Street.
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Lighted angel figures top a creche display in front of a house on the Illuminations Tour route.
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Light-up candy canes line the fence of an East Somerville home.
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Families look out the window of an Illuminations Tour trolley.
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Angelo and Theresa DiRusso greet passersby from the Illuminations Tour. They’ve been decorating their home for 40 years. “We first started on the peak of the roof with a single santa,” Theresa said. “Every year we buy more decorations.”
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Families look at Theresa and Angelo DiRusso’s lavishly decorated house. It took the DiRussos two weeks to decorate their home. “We do this for the community. It makes people smile. It’s time we saw some people smile,” Theresa said.

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