Christmas Lighting Rule #1: Less Is More

I live in between the Griswolds.

You remember – Clark Griswold, the character Chevy Chase made famous in all the National Lampoon Vacation movies? 

You know, the guy who goes overboard with the outside decorations in Christmas Vacation. 

The original Griswold house from Christmas Vacation.
The original Griswold house from Christmas Vacation.

The reason those movies are funny – the original one and Christmas Vacation, especially – is because as exaggerated as they are, we all know there’s an element of reality to them.  Scary.  

Clark Griswold lives across the street from me.  In duplicate.

I think it’s become a competition.

Their displays stay on all night.

Chester’s been a nervous wreck since Thanksgiving.  He typically barks at a blowing leaf, but the reflections of all the colored dancing lights through the sheer panels on the windows that look out across the street have him barking like he was on steroids.

Makes me sound like some kind of Scrooge, I know.

I grew up going to see the Burns’ Christmas light display in Wichita Falls as a little girl, and it was amazing.  Cars would line up for miles to drive through the Country Club section of town to see that display of lights and moving animotronic characters, complete with music and a robot who spewed soap bubbles all over the lawn.  It was spectacular.

As a little kid I sat mesmerized in the backseat of the car looking at all the stuff. 

As an adult I’m thinking about the Burns’ neighbors who couldn’t back out of their driveways or have guests at their own houses because there was a line of traffic backed up to Archer City (25 miles away) waiting to drive past “that house over there in Wichita that had all them characters lit up out in the yard.” 

Don’t get me wrong.  One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time still is driving around to look at lights.

Meanwhile, my house is pitch black. 

It looks like a Martha Stewart Christmas on the inside. 

But on the outside, I got nothin.’

You don’t need to when you’re surrounded by the Griswolds.




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