Like a lot of families, the Handleys have made a tradition out of searching for the best-decked homes each holiday season.
"That was what we first did when we dated. Even after we got married, we'd always go look at lights. Then with the kids, we'd go look at lights,” said Chad Handley.
"We'd be like, ‘Oh this house is cool. That house is cool.' So, we'd remember those addresses, and it just kind of morphed over time,” said his wife Ashleigh.
Chad plotted the stops his family made year after year, eventually becoming something of a local expert on where to find Flower Mound’s best-decked homes.
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"Now people are like, ‘Hey, where's that light guy?’" said Chad.
He became accustomed to pointing those who inquired on community Facebook groups in the right direction.
Then last year, when more people than ever were looking for an extra dose of Christmas cheer, Handley paired that expertise with his I.T. skills to use the MyRoute App to build maps his community could share.
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He said he started with their routes with about a dozen homes each.
But as his maps were shared and word spread, neighbors chipped in with their own recommendations.
"They’d say, ‘Oh, you need to add this spot. Oh, you need to add this address to whatever route you've got,'” said Ashleigh.
Together this year, they’ve created a blueprint to guide families along four different routes to 90 of the area’s brightest stops.
"It's grown all the way up to Denton. We've got a house in Frisco, Corinth, and I’ve had people say we need to do this in Dallas. So we hope to grow it and let everybody kind of share,” said Chad.
For the Handleys, watching other people find joy in their tradition has been a reminder that sometimes the best holiday gifts cost nothing at all.
“That's what it's about. That's what Christmas is about, giving,” said Chad.
To follow Handley’s routes, download Google Maps and the MyRouteOnline app and follow one of his links to routes from Flower Mound to Lewisville, Flower Mound to Highland Village, Highland Village to Lantana or Corinth to Denton.