Tis the season to be jolly, and Christmas is everywhere — on the radio, on TV, in stores and even in elevators — so you had best get used to it. The sound of Christmas will assail your eardrums everywhere for the next three weeks, even if one more rendition of “Jingle Bells” is liable to push you to commit tinsel-facilitated homicide.
After you have bought enough food to feed an army of elves and purchased enough electronics to open your own version of Best Buy, you can return to your beautifully decorated home where, if you are you are lucky enough to live next door to one of the people in this selection of videos below, you are likely to have your retinas seared off.
Christmas lights can be beautiful. Done artistically, they can accent a building or a yard beautifully and make you feel flushed with a sense of warmth and good cheer — a feeling that all is right in the world and that the season of good will to all men is alive and well.
Alternatively, they can have all the subtlety of a military grade flashbang.
This is not to say that one should feel like a Grinch about large and grand displays. There isn’t even anything wrong with injecting a little humor into the display you have erected. Christmas lights are like guns: In themselves, they aren’t evil, but in the wrong hands they can cause great suffering.
By all means, have Christmas lights; by all means, have twinkling lights, but do you really need to have your property pulsing like a rave?
Have you even heard of epilepsy? Apparently, this year’s in thing is to have your music flash in time to PSY’s “Gangnum Style.”
Sheer human compassion makes you weep for the people who have to live next door to that for a month.
So the $64,000 question is, “How do you know when you’ve gone too far?” Well, Arkansaw philanthropist Osbourne Jennings’s “Spectacle of Dancing Lights” is probably a good barometer: When your display can be seen from space, you’re being approached by Disney to use your display as the center piece of their Christmas pageant and you’re going to court to fight the local government and your neighbors over when you can actually turn your lights on, perhaps, just maybe, you have gone too far.
Alternatively if your neighbors are putting up lights of their own to make their feelings known to you, that can also be a sign.