Home Alone in Stittsville: Family recreates holiday masterpiece to raise money for CHEO
An Ottawa family is once again embracing an iconic Christmas movie for its holiday lights display.
The Turcotte family transformed their home at 18 Cypress Gardens in Stittsville into "Home Alone."
The 1990s movie starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy forgotten at home while his family goes on vacation. Kevin must fend for himself and defend his house again two robbers.
"It is just a good fun movie to watch, Macaulay Culkin did such a great job in that character. The kids love watching it, it puts a smile on your face," says Shawn Turcotte.
In 2020, the Turcotte front lawn was transformed into the Griswold’s house from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The family raised funds for the Stittsville Food Bank.
Turcotte says, "Everyone kept asking us, 'What are you doing next year?' All the kids kept pushing Home Alone. 'Please do Home Alone!' We thought about it, we watched the movie a few more times, and we realized we could pull it off!”
The display includes 3,500 lights that light up the house at night. There are approximately 15 cutouts of characters from the movie including Kevin and his mom, and numerous other props and items over the front lawn. There are also two vehicles parked on the lawn - the pizza delivery car and the wet bandits’ van.
"The van was difficult to find, it took me four or five months of searching online to find because I found a van that was very similar in make in model," said Turcotte.
The van had to be purchased from Toronto.
"My friends at Cavanaugh Construction did the body and paint job on it, so that was probably the most difficult (prop to find)," said Turcotte.
Turcotte will be dressed up as a bandit for the season. The family has had a lot of people offer to take on the role of Kevin’s mom, who is played by Canada’s Catherine O’Hara in the movie.
Turcotte says he is dreaming big this holiday season. "Maybe even Catherine O’Hara will show up and shout “Kevin!” at the top of her lungs!”
The display is raising funds for CHEO youth mental health services.
"It is something that is near and dear to our hearts… The numbers are staggering the number of kids, since the pandemic has started that need help with mental health, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity since we are doing a fundraiser for kids," said Turcotte.
There are signs on the front lawn with a QR code where people can scan to donate. A link to the CHEO Foundation can also be found at this link.
The house will be lit up until Jan. 1.
Turcotte says he is excited to see the community’s reaction.
"Especially some of our neighbours who love this movie, they get so excited once we turn the lights. It should be a lot of fun!"