‘Tis the season when many people decorate their homes with holiday cheer but one New Britain woman has become a bit of a celebrity for transforming her home into a winter wonderland for more that 30 years.
It started in 1978. That is when Rita Giancola, 84, decided to open her home to visitors who had previously just peeked through the windows. Almost every room of her 61 Lexington St. home is decorated and the lawn outside is covered with hundreds of Christmas characters, Santas and sleighs. Giancola meticulously arranges the decorations and begins putting them out in October. She has been hosting the event for so long now that adults who visited as kids return with their children.
Giancola asks all visitors to bring canned goods or non-perishable items, which she then donates to the needy. Her home is officially open to visitors Dec. 19-23 from 6 to 8 p.m.