CHICAGO (CBS) — A Jefferson Park resident is taking his Christmas tree decorations to another level.
As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported Thursday night, a creation at the home of Daniel DePaepe is leaving people scratching their heads. The holiday cheer there is through the roof – in both the figurative and literal sense.
From outside, it appears DePaepe’s giant revolving Christmas tree is bursting right through the roof of his home.
Off camera, we did get a look inside to see how it works. But for now, DePaepe wants us to keep that a holiday secret.
“What this is, is the world’s first through-the-roof tree that also rotates,” DePaepe said.
Ever since DePaepe was 10 years old, he has been the one in charge of putting up the Christmas tree for his family – and he has only gotten more creative with time.
“There are trees that are through the roof that people have made, but I put a spin on mine,” DePaepe said.
He means that quite literally. The rotating Christmas tree at his home is 20 feet tall – and again, to the eye, it looks like it goes through the roof.
“I came up with the idea about four years ago,” DePaepe said. “It took me a couple years just thinking about it how I wanted to do it.”
Last year, DePaepe’s vision came to life. But it did come with some growing pains.
“On the portion of the tree that sticks out on the roof, you zip-tie your ornaments to all the branches,” DePaepe said. “Otherwise, when it gets up to 60 mile-an-hour gusts, some of them have a habit of leaving the tree.”
Putting the mammoth tree together took days on end. But DePaepe, again, is not ready to spill the beans on how the setup works.
“It is a Santa secret on how it’s done, but it can be done,” he said.
For DePaepe, it is about letting the imagination run wild.
“It’s just a lot of fun. It’s fun when you have big groups – especially with kids – because some kids can figure it out, other kids are just in amazement,” he said. “It’s just fun.”
This year, DePaepe put up his spinning invention a little early at the request of his neighbors. His hope is to spread some holiday cheer.
“Most people love it. it’s just a happy thing,” he said. “It’s not politics. It’s nothing else. It’s just Christmas spirit.”
You can come and try to decipher the mechanics of the tree yourself. It will be lit every day at Meade Avenue and Argyle Street from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and will be up through Christmas – and maybe longer, says DePaepe, depending on the weather.