Today, I want to take a look at the craziest Christmas houses. You know the ones. They use tens of thousands of lights and alarming numbers of inflatables, animatron characters, weird signs, and holiday gewgaws. Their houses look like the were decorated by the Griswolds. But they often do more good than just keeping the holiday decoration industry in business.
Take for example Little North Pole, the house near me in Neponsit that inspired this whole post. They raise thousands of dollars every year for Type 1 Diabetes through the Juvenile Diabetes Relief Fund. The family hosts a famous tree lighting show every year that attracts thousands of visitors (and the local news), and visitors to the house are given the opportunity to make donations to the JDRF. The wild combinations of old (note I didn’t say antique) and new decorations are kind of hypnotic, and I can’t imagine how much work it must be to get it all up there. While the overall effect is certainly a LOT, I have to admire their commitment, and it’s certainly magical for the children who visit.
Not all heavily-decorated houses are as successful (or altruistic), so below is a broad cross-section of good taste and bad, of fund raiser and money wasters.