Speed Reads

merry and bright

Every Christmas, grandfather puts together spectacular light display to dazzle granddaughter

When his granddaughter asked him to put up 100 Christmas lights, Keith Mitchell went above and beyond to transform his home and front yard into a brilliant display of holiday cheer.

Mitchell's 6-year-old granddaughter, Samaria Johnson, made her request in 2018. Every year since, Mitchell has made the display bigger, and for the 2021 edition, there are more than 1.5 million lights. "It's all about my granddaughter for me," he told Good Morning America. "Plus, it makes a lot of people happy."

Mitchell lives in Suffolk, Virginia, but people come from out of state to view his decked out house. Hundreds of visitors stop by for a look every night, Mitchell estimates, and once, a man proposed to his girlfriend inside Mitchell's tunnel decoration. It takes about three months to get everything ready — Mitchell's family, friends, and neighbors pitch in to help set up — and he's built an additional tool shed on his property to store all the lights.

This year, Mitchell is trying something new by also holding a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter, but one thing stays the same: he goes into decorating without a plan, seeing where the holiday spirit takes him. "I just go for it," Mitchell told GMA