Operation Christmas Lights aims to make cancer patient's yard a winter wonderland

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - First the first time in 35 years, there are no lights shining in the front yard of the Tarulis' household.

Rick Tarulis has been a holiday staple of his Naperville neighborhood for years. But this year, whether he'll admit it or not, he needs some help.

Because Rick has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer and, after more than three decades of selfless dedication to his community, he can no longer put in the two weeks required to turn his yard into a winder wonderland.

Rebecca Lewis just wants to help her dad.

She grew up watching him shower their house with Christmas lights, attracting spectators from miles away.

So after her father spent years helping the community, she's asking the community to help him: "Operation Christmas Lights" is a plea to anyone whose enjoyed rick's work over the years to come and help keep his vision alive.

A vision he wishes would continue for one special person.

Rick isn't especially happy about his daughter asking strangers to come set up his Christmas lights, it's an incredibly intricate and complicated process not suited for the average decorator. Still, the significance of the gesture isn't lost on him.

Only time will tell whether or not this Naperville Community will step up to pay back the decades of happiness Rick has provided them.

Any effort made won't be easy, and it's unlikely it'll match what previous years have provided - but it doesn't matter. This is the season of giving. And, when it matters most, giving back.