As an early Christmas present this year, Bob Sputo presented his wife, Kathryn, with a life-size, animatronic reindeer for their Farmingdale living room that moves its head and antlers while singing “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.”
She couldn’t have been more thrilled. That’s Kathryn’s version of romantic holiday bling.
While most people go overboard decorating the outsides of their homes for the holidays, the Sputos decorate the inside. And that’s decorate with a capital D. It seems every square inch of their 1920s Craftsman cottage is decked out for the holiday — from flying elves in the sun porch, to a collection of more than 140 Christmas-themed salt and pepper shakers in the dining room, to a toilet-top reindeer in the bathroom that holds a candy-cane stemmed plunger and reminds people to flush.
For three evenings in December — the 11th, the 15th and 16th — the Sputos will open their home at 3 Main St., at the corner of Powell Place, from 5 to 8 p.m. to raise money for the Memphis-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They are hoping to collect $5,000 from visitors’ donations as well as a raffle of a Ninja Coffee Brewer. Bob, 58, a retired Nassau County police detective lieutenant, will be dressed as Santa, and Kathryn, 60, who also is retired, will dress as a St. Jude elf. Even the Sputos’ grandchildren, Kameron, 9, and Reece, 5, of Massapequa, will get into the act.
The Sputos have been decorating dynamos for decades — they started in their former home in Wantagh and continued after moving to Farmingdale in 2015. “We’re like everybody’s little secret,” Kathryn says. “Nobody has any idea what’s behind the door.”
The new singing reindeer now greets visitors as soon as they enter the home. Other highlights in the living room include a wall hanging of the cast of the iconic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a wood sleigh coffee table, a miniature holiday tree lot with a red pickup truck hauling trees and a light-up nativity scene inside a vintage television console.
The Sputos even have green walls and red furniture year-round so it would already match the Christmas décor come December. “It just made life a little easier,” Kathryn says. Other rooms of the house — the dining room, the kitchen, the sun porch, the bathroom, three bedrooms and the basement — are equally festooned.
Every year the Sputos try to add something else — hence the life-size reindeer. “I’ll search Christmas displays on eBay,” Bob says. “A lot of department stores get rid of stuff.”
Bob says he does it to see the joy on his wife’s face when visitors appreciate the décor. “People come to the house and they tell you, ‘I love being here. I want to come back. Can I bring my family back? Can I bring my grandkids back?’ I see the look in her eye.”
And, to be honest, he says, he loves it, too, especially when he dresses up during the open houses. “The first little kid who looks at me and really believes that I’m Santa? That’s what it’s all about.”