Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Christmas Decorations: How Much Is Too Much?

Some of my neighbors love to put out lights at Christmas.  This is a picture of the efforts of some Crestwood residents on the 1700 block of Webster Street, and I love to drive by it at night.  Others have some combination of lights, greenery and even a cool display of nutcrackers.  But there are some who do go to extremes. 

One of these homes is known as the Bishop's House on North Portal Street, just west of 16th Street.  And starting back in the 1960's they started to do a big light display.  Over the years, the family has added a bit at a time and today, every tree, every part of the house, and pretty much the whole property says they are totally into the holiday season.  There is even a full sized manger with animals that look like they just came over from Rock Creek Park to pose.

Now the only downside was that I headed over there with my camera to take some photos.  And guess what?  There were five tour busses and a huge traffic jamb!  I wanted to find a place to park and take some pictures, but no such luck.  Officer Friendly told me I had to move on. 

If I were a neighbor, would I be annoyed?  Probably not.  After all, the display brings joy to a lot of people, many of whom have been driving by since the '60s.  And it's brought joy to a whole lot of people, which is the whole idea of the holidays.


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Comment balloon 14 commentsPatricia Kennedy • December 23 2012 10:18PM


I prefer neighbors decorating their house to me decorating my house. I am way to busy to decorate and way to lazy to deal with taking it all down after the holidays. To all the neighbors who do all this work...thank you.
Posted by Frank Castaldini, Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco (Compass) almost 8 years ago

I stopped putting outside lights up a few years ago, because it was so much work. I will probably start up again next year, for my grandson, but on a smaller scale. I love light displays; I just don't like putting them up or taking them down!

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) almost 8 years ago
I love Christmas and I love Christmas lights. I think lots of lights look great when all of the neighbors are doing the same and the street is a community landmark For the holidays.
Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living almost 8 years ago

Patricia, Christmas lights are the personal expression of those who create the displays.  Beauty is in the eyes of the creator of the displays and the beholders!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 8 years ago

There is no such thing as "too much" when it comes to Christmas decorations.  It's a joy to see how elaborate some homes are...........'tis the season to be jolly.  Merry Christmas to you and yours Patricia.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 8 years ago

I agree with Roger....the more the merrier.  It boggles my mind when I think of all the wires and the cost and the storage of all the "stuff" after the holidays.  Not to mention the WORK!  I give these people credit and I'm glad there are people out there willing to do it.  It wouldn't be the same without these displays.  

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 8 years ago

Pat, When my parents lived in Richmond one guy had an agreement that he got to decorate his house AND the neighbors as part of his elaborate decorations.  There were some crowded subdivision streets to get to his place every Christmas.  Good thing he worked for the power company!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 almost 8 years ago

Every neighborhood has its overboard resident!  We have a couple, and I find it silly sometimes.

Our house is decorated simply, with a large, lighted wreath.  The wreath symbolically says WELCOME.

And you are.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago


I enjoy all the decorations including the overboard ones.  It just reflects who they are and their willingness to work on decorations.  We used to to quite a bit of lights at our home in Los Angeles, as we had this magnificent tree in the front that begged for lights...Have a delightful holiday.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 8 years ago
I appreciate the Christmas lights, the more the Merrier as long as I don't have to pay the electric bill!
Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) almost 8 years ago

Patricia, the lights and personal expressions are a big part of what makes the season the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year!"  Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) almost 8 years ago

Wishing you and your entire family an absolutely wonderful Christmas Holiday! Blessings to you and yours!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 8 years ago

I love the lights.  The more the merrier for me.  I look forward to them evey year.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) almost 8 years ago

It wouldn't annoy me if a neighbor had a massive Christmas lighting display, but it's not exactly eco-decor.  There is a home out here that gets so many gawkers at Christmas that the homeowners on the street feel compelled to include a disclosure about the home when they sell their home.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 8 years ago