Lithia couple Jessica and Bryant Bell host a yearly Star Wars-themed Christmas light show, Merry Sithmas. This year, their light show hopes to help raise money for victims of Hurricane Ian.

Jessica and Bryant Bell are originally from New Jersey but moved to Lithia five years ago. The couple grew up loving the Star Wars movie franchise.

“We both grew up on the Star Wars franchise and … then we raised our boys to love and appreciate it the way we do,” Jessica said. “I also have a minor obsession with Christmas decor, trees in particular. I have 12 fully decorated trees in my house at Christmas time, so this was a natural progression.”

In 2019, the couple discovered that their new neighbors had the same Star Wars-themed Christmas decorations, which led to a conversation about coordinating their displays.

“We came home one night and saw our neighbors’ had an AT-AT Walker inflatable, with his legs tied up on the ground, and we looked at each other and said, ‘I think we found our people,’” Jessica said. “Fast-forward to 2020, socializing with said neighbors, all of our normal Thanksgiving travel plans were canceled and we were looking for a creative outlet. My husband, Bryant, said that he would one day love to have one of those Christmas light displays set to music and our neighbors, Dan Cheney and Kelly Cheney, immediately said, ‘We’re in!’”

As more neighbors noticed the Star Wars Christmas decorations of their fellow neighbors, they wanted to join in with all Force fun.

“Our first year, we only had three houses, but we were featured on multiple light display websites, including The Holiday Atlas,” Jessica said. “We spent our nights and weekends updating and improving the show throughout that entire season. By the end of the 2020 holiday season, we had verbal commitments from about 75 percent of our cul-de-sac to participate the following year.”

With the recent damage Hurricane Ian caused to many areas of Florida, the couple decided they wanted to do some good during the holidays for those who were affected by the hurricane.

“This year, we are supporting the Florida Disaster Fund, which is run by Volunteer Florida,” Jessica said. “We have a GoFundMe set up to benefit them directly. There is no fee to see the display; however, we are strongly encouraging donations towards our charity this year if people enjoyed the show. We are very aware of how lucky we were this year after Hurricane Ian while many of us have friends and family who were not so lucky, so, in the spirit of the season, we really hope to raise a lot of money for this worthy cause.”

They hope to raise $5,000 for Volunteer Florida.

The Bells’ Merry Sithmas show starts on Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. and runs nightly at 6 p.m. until New Year’s Day. If you’d like to learn more about the Bells’ Merry Sithmas, you can visit their Facebook page @merrysithmasfromquintessalane. If you would like to donate to their GoFundMe page, visit

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.