Family spreads good cheer in car decked with Christmas lights

Forget about decking the halls. One family decks out their car for Christmas every year. Their goal is to put smiles on the faces of people they meet. It also gives  the family some special quality time together.

The Mendoza family — father Jose, mother Karla and duaghter Abigail in Collier County –has been performing a tradition the past four years, and it all starts right after Thanksgiving.

The driver (Jose) spends 10 hours decorating the car, and, then, the Mendoza family has a blast spreading Christmas joy while around town.

The name for the Mendoza family’s Christmas chariot — “The Star of Bethlehem Scion.” Jose said he named it that based on one Christian principal.

“The reason for Christmas is Christ,” Jose said.

And, four years ago, Jose wanted to bring a tradition to his family, something personally meaningful to behold for his wife.

“I didn’t grow up with a father,” Karla said. “So watching Jose and Abby take this and seeing their joy and happiness is so great.”

The Mendoza family only wants to lift spirits and bring joy with their shiny spectacle on wheels.

“It’s to bring joy,” Jose said. “We hear a lot of bad news, and some people are probably stressed. And, when they see the car, they smile.”

There are more than 4,000 lights on the car. A lot of the decorations such as snoopy looking out the window, Jose says he stole from his wife’s front lawn decorations. Next year, he is going to try to add even more lights.

We had the opportunity to go for a ride, and it gets lots of positive reactions from people out and about. Many want to take pictures with it, fulfilling the Mendoza family’s hopes to spread holiday joy in their community.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Abigail Mendoza said. “A lot of my friends send me pictures and are like, ‘Oh, my god that’s you guys, and I want a ride.’”

It’s a family tradition that really can light up someone’s holiday season.

“I know there are people of different faiths, but I think the car gaps that bridge,” Karla said. “There is no age generation or ethnicity. It just brings smiles and happiness.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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