Novato, California: Out-of-Control Rombeiro Christmas House Team Field Report

Rombeiro Christmas House

34 Devonshire Dr., Novato, CA
US Hwy 101 to San Marin Dr. heading west. Turn left onto Novato Blvd. then left onto Eucalyptus Ave., right on Devonshire Dr. around the curve and it will be on the right.
Seasonal, Daily 6-10 pm Dec-Jan. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Free, donation.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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Christmas House.

Out-of-Control Rombeiro Christmas House
A holiday-crazed home buried in Christmas cheer and open to the public, including the rooms inside. Report... [12/15/2018]

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Rombeiro family wins on ABC-TV's The Great Christmas Light Fight.

Rombeiro Christmas House - For The Win

On Monday, Dec. 16, 2020, The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC-TV revealed that Novato's Out-of-Control Christmas House won the episode prize of $50,000! The show pitted the Rombeiro's creative holiday mania against select like-minded families across the U.S. The segment followed host Taniya Nayak's walk-through of the yard and house on Devonshire Court. The story illuminated the Rombeiro family's special circumstances -- father Edmundo sidelined by a stroke, and how the family -- especially daughter Kathy and cousin Tony -- stepped in and took on all the 2018 and 2019 decoration tasks.

Toward the end of the hour, the family was notified of the win in person and presented with a giant trophy containing Christmas lights. We're hoping this is on prominent display in the kitchen (but the Rombeiros know best when it comes to placement).

[ Team, 12/17/2019]

At 6 pm the lights go on at the Rombeiro Christmas House.

Rombeiro Christmas House

It's the start of another season of holiday cheer and spiking power bills. Even with LED bulb efficiency, the electric bill at the Rombeiro Family Christmas House is $3,000 for a typical December. They've been freely opening their home to the public for nearly 30 years. Visitors not too blinded by the dazzle will stop by the donation box and add a few bucks to keep this festive regional landmark going.

Polar bears in the living room.

Late 2018 was an exciting time at the Rombeiro House, after it was selected as a candidate to appear in network TV's The Great Christmas Light Fight broadcast. The crew filmed on location then, and the results will finally be revealed on the show this season. On Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, 8-10 pm on ABC-TV, the Rombeiro display will be pitted against holiday home displays in other towns, winner getting $50,000 (perhaps to cover the next 16 years of December power bills!).

We're rooting for the Rombeiros, though we know their tough competitors often have highly engineered light displays, synchronized music programs, and other spectacles that make for good TV. The Rombeiro house must be experienced live -- with its folksy accumulation of old and new lawn figures and sheets of fake snow, tight walkways snaking through rooms jam-packed with thousands of decorations, figurines and lights.

The living room.

We arrived as the lights powered up at 6 pm. A line of families slowly advanced up the sidewalk and into the yard. Inside, the house was already getting warm from the press of bodies and glow of displays, which are rearranged and expanded each year.

The enclosed porch features a model train layout filled with amusement park miniatures and winter scenes. The hallway to the Angel Room is lined with family photos -- one of our party pointed out a framed picture we hadn't seen in the past: "The Portugese Showgirls! 2001." One bedroom features a very detailed recreation of Christmas and the religious traditions on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores -- their ancestral home.

The family patriarch, Edmundo Rombeiro, sat in the kitchen in his traditional Santa getup, issuing holiday greetings.

Everyone leaves with a candy cane.

[ Team, 12/14/2019]

Christmas House.

Out-of-Control Christmas House

The Rombeiro Family was back for another season sharing their insane holiday decoration display indoors and outside their home. Earlier in the year it seemed threatened by a serious health incident with family patriarch Edmundo. But the house was back in full-electricity sipping splendor for December 2018. Edmundo, who wears a full Santa suit and beard, could be found in the kitchen, where he dispensed holiday greetings while other Rombeiros handed out free candy canes.

The crowds were huge this year, perhaps due to publicity of the Rombeiro house competing in ABC-TV's "The Great Christmas Light Fight."

[ Team, 12/25/2018]

Prepping for the season.

Out-of-Control Christmas House: Prepping

We spotted the Rombeiro family hard at work in their front yard, positioning plastic elves and stringing Christmas lights in a knobby, leafless tree. It's all part of getting the Out-of-Control Christmas House prepped for its fans by December 1st. The Rombeiros throw open their doors for daily self-guided walkthroughs. We recognized statuary from previous visits -- the Magi clustered with snowmen, the lit-from-within carolers; the density should increase over the next few weeks. Inside their home, Mr. Rombeiro -- who has a natural Santa beard -- promises new arrangements and displays!

[ Team, 11/12/2012]

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
Junk Art Cow, Santa Rosa, CA - 23 mi.

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