‘Home Alone’ display brings Christmas joy, nostalgia to Texas neighborhood

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Kevin isn’t home alone at his house in Cherrywood.

Kevin Urrutia-O’Reilly and his wife Alex Moreland live in the east Austin neighborhood and decided to go all out for Christmas-decorating this year. In the past, they’ve stuck to the usual: lights, ribbons and garland.

Kevin and Alex pose with the “Wet Bandits” (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

This time, though, they turned to one of their favorite movies as inspiration.

“I just got this 3D printer. How about we print all of the characters’ faces and make mannequins?” Urrutia-O’Reilly said. “Then it just kind of snowballed from there.”

The married couple got to work hand-crafting characters, props and set designs from the 1990 classic “Home Alone.” 2020 marked the film’s 30th anniversary. The entire process started in September.

“I think we watched the movie over or about a dozen times in the past two months,” Moreland said.

The display features many nostalgic designs from scenes, such as Kevin McCallister on the roof holding paint cans, which you can see in the slideshow at the bottom of the article. The couple’s favorite is “Marv” played by actor Daniel Stern.

“We got all of the clothes at Goodwill. I think we were able to nail down his look, pretty well. We put the iron on there. We used wool, like felting wool to do his goatee, facial hair. The tar marks on his feet and crowbar in his hands — I think we had the most fun with him and I think he turned out the most successful,” Moreland said.

“Buzz, your girlfriend… WOOF!” (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

Passerbys favored the parts that were the least difficult to put together.

“The ones people have loved the most are the Michael Jordan in the window and then Buzz’s girlfriend framed in the window. I think those are two very iconic characters,” Moreland said.

“Which were the two easiest things to make,” Urrutia-O’Reilly added.

Overall, their passion project has already paid dividends in the reactions they’ve received from those passing.

A lot of smiles,” Moreland said.

“Yeah, pure joy I think,” Urrutia-O’Reilly interjected.

“And every single time we’re out here, we have people slow down, just being like, ‘Oh, this is amazing,’ ‘Thank you so much for doing this,’ ‘I love Home Alone, my kids love Home Alone.’ We had someone leave a little gift at our door writing how much their kids enjoyed seeing it and they love Home Alone, they watch it every season.”

He continued, “I knew it was gonna bring us a lot of joy, it did, for the past few months [as] we worked on it little by little. But seeing how much joy it’s brought everyone else has been really, really nice.”

If you’re interested in seeing the display in person, you can visit the Cherrywood neighborhood. Their house sits on a corner of Lafayette Avenue.


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