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BRIANA: Over-the-top holiday light displays aren’t exactly a new fad, but this 2013 trend list suggests that social media and Pinterest are inspiring people to get more creative. Themes like “winter wonderlands, candy canes, Santa’s workshop and character themes” are apparently in-demand and hey, looks like someone found a way to tip a hat to that fox trend, too. Some homeowners have even gone high-tech with smartphone apps so they can orchestrate the whole setup with just a tap or flick of the finger. So, what do you think? Are souped-up holiday light displays merry or scary?

Are over-the-top holiday lights merry or scary? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

MARIANNE: Do I love to take my kids out in their Christmas jammies for a holiday light tour? Definitely. Do I put lights on my house? Nope.

KAYLA: I’m with you, Marianne. They’re great to look at it but I’ll never, ever, ever put lights on my house like that. I’d rather sit on my sofa and sip a hot toddy. I do appreciate those that go the extra mile, though.

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Welcome to my new neighborhood, which has its own official neighborhood-sponsored light show choreographed to a (maybe not FCC approved) FM station. It’s rad and we love it. Like Marianne, I’d personally rather other people spend the time to light up their houses than do it myself, but I’m so glad they do.

LILI: For being the queen of understated in my personal decor (always go for a classic!), I really veer into the insane territory when it comes to Christmas lights. I love them. They make me tear up for absolutely no good reason at all. Add a sprinkling of snow like we had here in New York the other night and I might find myself preferring winter to spring. Crazytalk. If I had a house rather than an apartment, I’d go full-on Griswold:

Do you like giant holiday light displays? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

JESSICA: I second Lili. I went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens last night to see their Christmas lights and it was all very emotional. I feel very sorry for my poor cousin and her best friend, who had to stop walking every time I wanted to take a picture. Which was approximately every 3 feet.

LEANNE: I appreciate the gleeful tackiness of a house covered in lights that use $600 of electricity in a month.

KERI: Does anyone remember the scene in Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas that features the AMAZING light machine that lets you basically shoot lights onto your house? It was by far the most memorable scene for me. When that is real, I will put lights on my house.

LIZ: I love Christmas lights, the more the merrier. (Current world record: 502, 165.) I’m more into classic than crazy, but I applaud anyone who takes the time to time their lights to music. Granted, if I lived across the street from this house, I might change my tune (or theirs.)

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FARIMA: I love Christmas lights, too — especially when they’re all blue or white. I went to Opryland Hotel this past weekend, and the trees looked magical.

Do you like giant holiday light displays? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

I want to string lights on all the trees in the world.

GRANT: The more souped-up, the better! Growing up, I thought we were big stuff when Granddad pulled out the blue candoliers for the front windows.

Do you like big holiday lights displays? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

NANCY FIRE, Design Director of HGTV HOME: On a recent HGTV HOME trip to Rochester, MI,  I came across this amazing town that goes all out for the holidays, which I love because it’s an event and brings the community together.

Do you like big holiday light displays like this one in Rochester, MI? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

As far as personal house decorations, I personally like “less is more,” probably because I live in a world of lights in NYC. I tend to like subtle, but creative:

Do you like big holiday light displays or subtle ones like this example from House to Home? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Paul Massey via Housetohome

We’ve hollered about holiday lights, now tell us what YOU think:

73 Responses

  1. Yolanda says:

    Enjoy seeing, would hate to have a neighbor do it. Seems like we are getting away from the true meaning of the season. Here in Alaska our motto is to keep the lights on until the last musher comes home (iditarod). No one can remove lights from their houses until the thaw (April-May). Lights tend to help make the darkness and the season a little more tolerable.

  2. 4Grammy says:

    I agree with Yolanda. I would hate to live next to or across the street from a neighbor who had such a loud and/or bright light display. The time involved in setting up elaborate Christmas displays and the expense (including a higher electric bill) diminishes the true meaning of Christmas.

    • Linda Wilson says:

      they are a symbol of the season as when the light of the star shown brightly! People who put up lights I'm sure use a timer to shut them off at a reasonable time. Sheesh why so negative it's the time of the year to rejoice!

      • Melody says:

        I second that Linda!!!!!!!!!!!!! I decorate elegantly but love the over the top lights!!!!!!!! <3

  3. cucumberHoH says:

    That house pictured is nicely done. I love decorated homes &yards. Some can be too much w/the music & extreme flashing of lights.

  4. cucumberHOH says:

    Rochester Mi is very much in the season. Need more pics of the town.

  5. GenieJan says:

    I live in Rochester, MI and at first thought the light display was gaudy, but now I look forward to it every year. It brings a lot of people to visit and it's fun to see the look on their faces–very much in the Christmas spirit.

  6. Karen C. says:

    I live in Rochester too and I'm proud to be part of this community. It is fun to hear the comments from those who don't live here and how excited they are to see it the first time.

  7. kirsten says:

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  8. Albert Disuuza says:

    I live in California which is very well known for its Christmas and New year celebrations. The view everywhere is just amazing during this time period. This year as well it was an awesome experience. I hope everyone else also has enjoyed the festivals to the hilt.

  9. Merry when it comes to lights shining like a star that brings Christmas more exciting and scary when it comes to expenses lol.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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