A Ramona man doesn’t need Rudolph to guide his truck because he has 2,600 lights to get the job done.
Tony Wilson decorates his sleigh-with-wheels every year, spreading holiday cheer wherever he goes.
“It just makes people smile when they see this go,” Wilson told NBC 7.
The decorating process takes roughly 22 hours in total, he said.
Wilson starts at his truck’s tailgate and runs the lights around. He uses miniature light clips and suction cups to hold everything in place.
After the holiday lights are wrapped around his 2018 Ford F-150, he carefully aligns them in neat rows.
The lights aren’t powered by Christmas magic, but rather a 500 W portable power inverter to keep the show on the road.
Wilson started decorating his ride in 2006 when his church hosted a “Light of Life” contest. He decorated his boat with holiday lights, pulling it with his truck.
Back then, he said he only slightly outlined his truck with lights.
Wilson won the contest, sparking his lighting legacy to life.
The church only held the contest for a few years. Wilson joked they stopped because he kept winning.
Over the past 12 years, Wilson’s design evolved. He started adding lights to the doors in 2017.
2015: Wilson’s car before he made the switch to full-coverage lights.
The Ramona resident parks his truck in his front yard, plugs it in, and creates a show-stopping display.
2013: The seventh iteration of Wilson’s truck-lights combo.
He said he also likes to ride around town and see people’s reactions.
One day, Wilson was at a store and someone came up to him and said, “Your decorations give me a fuzzy and warm feeling inside, and I appreciate you.”
The compliments follow the bright truck; even some National City police officers stop by for a picture this year.
At the start of the new year, Wilson takes down the decorations, though this process is much quicker than his set-up, only lasting about an hour and a half.
“I don’t like taking them down,” he told NBC 7.
He said he does his annual lighting tradition for the people.