The Great Christmas Light Fight

My family and I are greatly enjoying The Great Christmas Light Fight on TV this season. With Thanksgiving late, and the kids getting older (and thus more independent), we jumped into the Christmas season with joy this year. We put up our tree and decorated it right after Thanksgiving, enjoyed the post-Christmas sales (though we did not go shopping on Thanksgiving or in the wee hours of that day.) I set up our DVR to record all sorts of Christmas specials, which is how I laughed through Scrooged for the first time in my life, and last night enjoyed the dated and somewhat cheesy Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town with my daughter.

But The Great Christmas Light Fight is really the best of the season. In each episode, four awesome families compete with their own amazing Christmas light show for a $50,000 prize. The only thing that disappoints me and Peter is that, in our opinion, all the families deserve to win at least that much!

The first episode featured a family who managed to create an amazing video light show — set to music! — on their property and their house; a family who dressed up as elves and had a video loop on Santa in one of their windows, plus a snow machine; a farming family in rural Georgia who had a thoroughly vintage old-school display on their 2 acres of land; and a New York fireman who had all the windows of his house filled with Christmas items, small shop window type animated displays, and who (to everyone’s surprise) trenched all the power lines to the displays. The only tip I could have given is that the Georgians might have added a train (i.e. an old riding mover with a facade with someone homemade cars attached) to make it more awesome. As it was, the New Yorker got the advice to add even more lighting to his door. The retired fireman won, but every family deserved not only the admiration they get from their neighbors, the fame from being on national television for their efforts, but a splendid prize as well.

So far, none of the competitors on this show have been local. If any where, we’d put seeing their display as a must-see event on our calendar. When we used to get the local newspaper, we took note of their “best displays” column and had a fun time touring them, especially when the kids were very young. I still remember one which was not only spectacularly lit up but which also had Santa in the front listening to Christmas wishes (Neil was too young to talk, but I think he still got a small toy). But our favorite was a house off of Santa Teresa Street in San Jose, which put out a full G-scale train display each year. They started the set-up three weeks before Thanksgiving, and by the day after, several trains were running through the winter wonderland in the front yard. Every day, the Grinch hid out in a different place or in a different train, so you could go every evening for a new challenge. Alas, the family has moved or ended doing their display, but we still remember how much we enjoyed it.

And to think that fabulous display would still not be spectacular enough to compete on the The Great Christmas Light Fight! It gave us such delight, I wish all the families who put forth all that effort for an amazing display were to know how happy they make others with such festive spectacle.

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