Christmas Light Show Creates Magic For 9-Year-Old Autistic Boy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Don’t believe in the magic of the holiday season? You may change your mind after this story.

“I started the first light show of 2016,” said 9-year-old Matthew Romano of Northeast Philadelphia.

With the press of a button, Romano activated the light show at Macy’s in Center City, now it its 60th year.

“I like two parts,” Romano explained, “the story of the ‘Nutcracker’ and when all of the lights come on.”

Matthew knows all about the light show. He watches it on his computer frequently. He is autistic, and Pat Kelly, a family friend who everyone calls aunt Pat, thought a behind the scenes opportunity would be beneficial for Matthew. She wrote Macy’s and they granted her wish. Aunt Pat says something magical happened when Matthew met the light show installation crew a few weeks ago.

“For him to walk into a group of like 20 strangers, he wouldn’t have even of done this with one person,” Pat explained. “And all of a sudden he addressed everyone and just said ‘hi everyone’ in this voice I have never heard before.”

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Fighting back tears of joy, Aunt Pat said the opportunity has changed Matthew’s life. He is confident and socially engaged.

“I’ve never seen this before,” she said. “It’s miraculous.”

(credit: John McDevitt)

(credit: John McDevitt)

Macy’s Christmas Light Show has about 100,000 LED lights. The show is narrated by Entertainer Julie Andrews who tells classic holiday tales like ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘The Nutcracker.’

Another family tradition taking place at the Center City department store is Dickens Village. It’s an animated 1840’s village walk-through tour of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Both attractions run through December 31.

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