Take the guesswork out of looking for incredible Christmas lights with Sam Sansalone's famous map of the Hampton Roads area.

'Tis the season for driving around aimlessly, marveling at the creativity of your neighbors. But Sam Sansalone, a Virginia Beach real estate agent, had an idea to give a little more direction to people looking for Christmas lights. He began a mapping project in 2017, and it quickly caught on in the local community.

It has grown to include its own Facebook page with video updates, in addition to the pinned map. One recent post provides a list of local places to get hot chocolate or warm beverages after dark. How's that for full service?

The map is separated into categories by region. Pins are color-coded, and here's what they mean:

  • Green pins: must-see
  • Blue pins: very nice 
  • Yellow pins: include at least one minion
  • Orange pins: submitted by the community
  • Red pins: not yet confirmed for this year, but had displays up in the previous year

The beauty of the map, in addition to its sheer volume of information, is that listings are submitted from multiple sources: the community, the map creator, and the homeowners themselves. Sansalone does the majority of the legwork himself, confirming displays and updating the map as needed.

Christmas Tree Lights

Courtesy of Unsplash

During the season, people can leave comments on the Facebook page and discuss who has the best display of the year. Check out the group chatter if your time is limited and plan your route accordingly!

For more information about the map, or to offer your help with confirming 2019 displays, contact Sam Sansalone directly through the Facebook page.

Will you be trying out the Christmas Light Map this year? Is light-spotting a tradition in your family? Let us know in the comments!