What's not to love about fall and Halloween? The colorful array of fall foliage, crisp air, eerie experiences, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and the perfect time for pulling out your coziest fuzzy sweater. Except in Florida, the year-round warmth and sunshine can make it a little harder to get in that spooky season spirit. That means that your decorations have to be on fleek — and what better way to do that than with a The Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween tree? One Florida man did just that, putting his heart into his twist on the terrific Tim Burton film.
Narcity spoke to Alfredo to learn more about what inspired his epic creation and how it came to life.
Who brought this epic tree to life?
The man behind the amazing display is Alfredo Vargas, a Florida local from Haines City, Florida near Orlando who originally hails from Puerto Rico.
With a creative eye and a passion for Disney and animated films, Vargas mixes mediums to create one of a kind holiday trees just like this one. This isn't the first one he's done either, he makes them every Halloween and Christmas.
Vargas told Narcity that the tradition started as mostly normal Christmas trees with a little creative spin to share with his family and friends, which evolved to be bigger and better as they expected something new each year.
In the past, he's done themes such as It's a Small World, World of Color, The Little Mermaid, Moana, Toy Story, Ralph Breaks the Internet featuring the scene where Vanellope meets the Disney Princesses, Maleficent, and more.
Vargas said that his Moana tree even received international attention in Mexico and India on the local news and had millions of views online.
His trees even landed him a job at Universal Studios as a visual assistant, where he helps build and design the look of the stores and restaurants as well as the Christmas and Halloween decor.
If you've checked out the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store, you've seen his work — he helped build it from scratch.
How does Alfredo make these trees happen?
"As a kid I loved Christmas. I always helped out putting up the tree and as I grew older it was always my task," said Vargas. "Sometimes I've even flown to Puerto Rico to put up my parent's tree...I show up with the stuff over there and put it up myself."
These epic creations don't just come out of thin air though — it takes Vargas months to bring one to life. For his Nightmare Before Christmas theme, he started work on it in April, though he told Narcity that he's started projects as early as January. He even goes the extra mile to tie in his living room decor to each year's theme.
Vargas will shop for various crafting materials to sculpt most of the big pieces by hand from things like foam, foamboard, and foil, like the dragon head that topped his past Maleficent tree that literally breathed smoke, as well as the graveyard and buildings on this year's tree.
Some things he purchases outright to save time or repurpose from year to year, like the characters, bulbs, and lights. "In my attic and garage, I have boxes upon boxes of Christmas bulbs in every color you can imagine," laughed Vargas.
What inspires him to make them?
When asked what inspired him to pick The Nightmare Before Christmas, he said it originally started as something else random during quarantine, but he didn't think he'd have enough time to finish two trees this year, so he switched gears.
It was his love for the film that sparked the idea, as well as how easily he could repurpose it come Christmas time. He will completely re-dress it for the next season, like when Halloween Town gets transformed for Christmas in the film.
As time's gone on, Vargas says the reaction from his family, friends, and followers are what keeps him excited for each new project.
"What really gets me...I put hints and clues on Facebook. I wanna see people's reactions to my new stuff 'cuz every year I do something a little crazier than the year before."
Alfredo's trees may just make him the king of Halloween.