When Do They Film 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'? Plus More Fun Facts

Anna Quintana - Author
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Nov. 28 2022, Updated 3:54 p.m. ET

The families featured on The Great Christmas Light Fight compete to see who has the best holiday lights around. The ABC reality series features people who take their Christmas lights pretty seriously, so it's no surprise that the show is filmed in advance.

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The series showcases the "wildest and most spectacular Christmas displays" in America, visiting four families in each episode who have decorated their homes for the chance to win $50,000 and a pretty cool trophy. It's hosted by Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak and is always sure to get even the Scroogiest viewers in the holiday spirit.

This year, the first episode airs on Nov. 28, which means most of the families who appeared on the show had those Christmas decorations up well in advance of the holiday season. As it turns out, they actually had them up in advance of last year's holiday season.

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So, when exactly do they film 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'? 

While watching Season 8 of The Great Christmas Light Fight which premiered in 2020, audiences saw huge crowds of people and absolutely zero social distancing or mask-wearing taking place despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But don't worry — there was a perfectly reasonable explanation.

On Dec. 7, 2020, Hosts Carter and Taniya clarified during an Instagram Live conversation that the episodes airing in 2020 were filmed back in 2019. "We film the show a year in advance, and we've always done this because of editing," Tanya said. "Which means this year, when it airs, people are gonna see massive crowds, lots of hugging, lots of handholding," even though none of those things are happening in real life right now.

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Taniya went on to say that she was excited that people would get a small taste of normalcy while watching Season 8 of the show. "I'm actually glad because it will remind us of how things were and, hopefully, how things will be again soon." However, she did say she was a little nervous about "shamers" who may spew vitriolic opinions online without being aware that the show was filmed so far in advance.

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This year, in 2022, the same thing will be happening. Audiences of The Great Christmas Light Fight will actually be seeing homes from the 2021 holiday season. Taniya shared a bit about the COVID protocols the production follows in order to keep everyone safe, saying:

"We get tested every three days. Everybody on set gets tested, the homeowners get tested, and then [Carter] and I get to take our masks off with the homeowners [but] we have to keep a six-foot distance, we're outside, and we have COVID officers on set."

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Last year, Carter took things one step further and essentially lived in an Airstream trailer all year, driving it around to the various filming locations. "I've been telling everybody: The set is the safest place to be," he said. "I literally go to set [and] to my trailer that I'm living in, and it's kind of the safest area." You definitely have to admire his dedication!

Taniya Nayak, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Elves
Source: Facebook
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Is 'The Great Christmas Light Fight' fake? 

There have been rumors that the show is not as real as people think, mostly because there was a rumor going around that the families aren't told whether they won until the show airs. According to the rumor (which was apparently started by former contestant Kevin Lynch), each family is told they won so producers can get a "genuine" reaction and they're also made to film a reaction to losing the competition.

Kevin also explained how families are only given three weeks to set up their displays. "I was out decorating from 8 in the morning ’til 1 in the morning every single day,” he told the New York Post. "I did get it done, but I will never do that again!”

Christmas Light Display
Source: Facebook
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However, executive producer Brady Connell maintains that those rumors are completely false. "I can assure you that we never shot any scene with any family other than what you saw on the show. We never shot a losing a scene with any of the families. We never told the family that you won and then said sorry, now we’re going to shoot a losing scene. That would be highly inappropriate and I never would have allowed it,” he told Reality Blurred.

"I think Kevin was trying to help ABC keep it a secret in his own way and he felt like it was an appropriate response when his neighbors asked him, ‘Well, what was all that on the front lawn with the trophy?' he decided to tell them that there were actually two options filmed, and he doesn’t even know who won. That was his choice, and we respect that and wish he hadn’t, but he dealt with it the way he felt was best."

Watch the premiere of Season 10 of The Great Christmas Light Fight on Nov. 28, at 9 p.m. EST on ABC and Hulu.

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