Secrets from The Great Christmas Light Fight and The Great American Baking Show

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Every year we set the DVR so that we can record all of the 25 Days of Christmas The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC and rewatch them all season long. The stories that the families share about coming together to build these incredible holiday displays to share with their community is just the best. The creativity is unmatched as well. From figuring out how to fit it all into their yard to handmade pieces that are programmed and sync to music. It’s great Christmas fun.

There is also another side to my holiday love and that is baking. The Great American Baking Show has a Holiday Edition filled with all kinds of tasty treats to salivate over. I got to sit down with Sherry Yard the judge on The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition and three-time James Beard Award-winning pastry chef, as well as Carter Oosterhouse Judge/Host on The Great Christmas Light Fight.

Thanks to Disney and ABC for bringing me to LA for the Mary Poppins Returns and 25 Days of Christmas event.


It was such a pleasant surprise that the two of them brought us all gifts. Carter brought us Mickey Christmas light necklaces and Sherry brought us some delicious chocolate. I picked the one with pop rocks and dried fruit. They are both so charming. As I said before, I’m a huge Light Fight fan so I was super excited to meet Carter Oosterhouse this day.

As Oosterhouse hands out the lights he says, “Shockingly on the show, everywhere we go, we always see people decorated, literally head to toe, in lights. And I’m always a little ashamed because I feel like I should be decorated in something like that as the judge, but I’m not. They don’t let me do that.”

Maybe it’s easier to find him in the crowd if he is the only one dressed in regular clothing.

I cannot compete with any of these people, and I feel inadequate to some degree because they are just like [heavyweights]. And that is somebody who literally designed their space with four million lights. Four million lights. I mean that is just unbelievable, right?” Oosterhouse said.

Is there anything that really shocked you?

“I’m not usually a person who’s generally surprised by very many things because I’ve had the luxury of just working on so many shows,” Oosterhouse said.  “And as a builder, I’ve seen a lot, but this show surprises me every time. Every time I go on it, I see something new and different and creative and unique, and that’s the best part about it. And I like the heart of — the spirit of Christmas is there, so it’s kinda hard not to really, really get into it.”

Is there anything that has happened during the show that has really stuck with you?

“Oh, absolutely. I mean I think now more and more we get these heartfelt stories, not on all of them but unique stories as well where the families have something to give and why they do it,” Oosterhouse said. “For instance, in a segment that we just shot, they only spoke Spanish. That was unique for me because I don’t speak Spanish. But at the end of the day, we all could understand love and holiday and cheer and Christmas. And that was pretty sweet and special.”

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT – ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” stars Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Here is what Carter Oosterhouse is looking for in an amazing Christmas Light Fight house!

What is one thing that’s really blown you away?

So, for me, I like kind of weird stuff. What I mean by weird is like when it’s different than what you would expect Christmas to be. So, when you see lights and blow molds and stuff like that, it’s kind of traditional. But when you see stuff that is weird where they can mix in like dinosaurs, or they can mix in stuff that you would be like, ‘wait, what?? How did this — you have a helicopter that you figured out how to decorate. And why do you have a helicopter?’

Different parts of the country definitely have different design taste. These people are specifically creating those memories for those people in that community. And you realize just that when they see stuff like they see a helicopter and they see a dinosaur, they’re like, yeah, why shouldn’t a dinosaur be decorated and have Christmas too.

So, for me that’s what I really, as a judge, that’s what I really look towards is the unique creativity level,” Oosterhouse said.

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT – “Episode 402” – The DiMartino familyÕs inspirational Christmas display after the tragic loss of a beloved wife on 9/11, while also raising over $190,000 for a Pediatric Cancer Unit in Staten Island, New York on ÒThe Great Christmas Light Fight.Ó (ABC/Eric Liebowitz)

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT airs Mondays on ABC at 8|7c with two new one-hour episodes; also available streaming and on demand

Sherry Yard’s secret on The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition

So, how do you compare? I mean you’re a judge. How do you choose sides?

“I lose about ten pounds first because I’m gonna gain about 15 pounds. That’s the first preparation. We should have a game of how much weight I gain because I really enjoy what I do, and I love pastries. I love food. I’m judging if they had to make two items I actually was eating both. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen the show in full myself. I’m hoping they don’t make me look as much as what I was doing, because you’re gonna see by the last show I’ve put on…there’s more to love. It’s a professional job. Someone has to do it!” Yard said.

Holiday specials are shot pretty far in advance. Light Fight is now shooting a year in advance! Imagine shooting a holiday baking show in summer!

“We shot in the tent, okay. This is just like hallowed ground for me in August. In London,” Yard said. “There were times at night when we were shooting, it was very cold. So, the finale we all really wrapped up. It felt more like Christmas.”

GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW – Sherry Yard and Emma Bunton of “The Great American Baking Show Holiday Edition” at a Special Screening of the Season Four Premiere Episode at the IPIC Theater in NYC, 12/3/18. The season premiere airs Thursday, 12/6/18 at 9PM on ABC. (ABC/Heidi Gutman)

THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW: HOLIDAY EDITION Season 4 premieres Thursday, December 6 on ABC at 9|8c with a two-hour episode; also available streaming and on-demand after the premiere.

This holiday season, Disney|ABC Television are teaming up with Disney store,, and Toys for Tots. Fans and families can celebrate 25 Days of Christmas by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at a U.S. Disney store or on until December 15th and Disney store will contribute $5 per toy to Toys for Tots, up to $1 Million! For more information on Toys for Tots, go to
To watch your favorite holiday content go to
Post a selfie with your toy on social media using the hashtag #25DaysOfChristmas

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