Bah-Humbug! Holiday Lights Spark Feuds

December 3, 2015

Outdoor holiday lights are sparking some neighbor fights when some home owners teeter on too much of a festive display.

In River Falls, Wis., one woman reportedly called the police to complain that her neighbor’s holiday lights were keeping her up at night. But the police said they were unable to do anything. After all, there’s nothing illegal about stringing Christmas lights on your home.

Indeed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released federal regulations last year mandating that holiday lights must be safe but they did not limit how many lights home owners can hang or the number of hours they can be turned on.

In Buellton, Calif., residents complained to the city about a neighbor’s Christmas lights display that was drawing too many passersby on the typically quickly street. But the city said the lights were allowed.

Some light wars, however, are getting more intense among neighbors. Last year, in Ross Township, Pa., one neighbor asked another neighbor to turn off his Christmas lights while her family had dinner. The neighbor – who had long been known for his festive holiday display – became offended. He reportedly started blasting floodlights through the woman’s windows and added to his display, including a light-up urinating Santa Claus, beheaded choir, and as a finish touch, a sign that read: “This display is dedicated to Ross Township. Shame on you for destroying my display that brought so much joy and happiness to so many people.”

Source: “Wisconsin Woman Calls Cops on Neighbor’s Christmas Lights,” Grand Forks Herald (Dec. 1, 2015); “When a Festive Display of Christmas Lights Sets Off the Neighbors,”® (Dec. 2, 2015); “How One Man Is Terrorizing Neighbors With a Hostile Holiday Decoration Display,” 20/20 (Dec. 19, 2014)