10. The Hyatts - Plantation, Florida
For years now, the Hyatt family's Christmas display has been a point of contention. In 2013, people got so worked up about the display that they started complaining to the police in May, while the lights don't start coming out until September. Recently, police have set up a mile-long walking path to alleviate traffic concerns on the street, but the Hyatts didn't take kindly to the intervention. The police say that setting up 200,000 lights, hundreds of pieces of decor, and a Ferris wheel in a single-family residential neighborhood is irresponsible, but the Hyatts refuse to compromise in any way, saying that "Christmas will happen. It happens every year."
(image via Hyatt Extreme Christmas)
9. The Hoags - Strongsville, Ohio
In Strongsville, Ohio, Dan Hoag's display on Crown Point Parkway is a major draw—and a point of contention. His neighbor Kevin Roberts sued him in small claims court in 2013 over the elaborate display, saying that illegal fireworks from their kick-off celebration on Thanksgiving damaged his home and that the crowd turned less than jolly as his sibling tried to get through the gathering to get home after their Thanksgiving meal. Hoag claims to have done nothing wrong, and neighbors point to the annual donations he collects through the display to help out local families in need.
(image via flip3289)
8. The Ansells - Ross Township, Pennsylvania
Years ago, Robert Ansell and his brother Bill used their skills as electricians to erect a massive Christmas light display. From the late 80s on into the 2000s, their massive display brought visitors from all over the region, raising thousands for charity. After complaints from the neighbors shut the display down, a bitter Bob started putting up a much humbler, but meaner display. Filled with hanging Mickey Mouses, headless choirs, and urinating Santas strewn over deliberately trashy tarps, Bob's revenge display has thwarted home sales and driven away visiting family members for the other homes in the cul-de-sac where his lawn is prominently visible.
(image via Ian Smith)
7. The Burkes - Southington, Connecticut
Howard Burke has set up a Christmas lights display on Lovley Street every year since 2008 to raise food donations for a local pantry. In 2013, the display garnered nearly 2,200 pounds of food. In 2014, the display pulled the plug 10 days ahead of schedule, moving to a by-appointment, reservation-only showing. The display had grown so large that police had to set up on the street each night to ensure that traffic kept moving. Amidst neighbor complaints, threats of legal action, and online harassment, Burke decided that the display was more trouble than it was worth. The Burkes moved out of state in June after selling off most of their display materials.
(image via Record-Journal)
6. The Birketts - Scottsdale, Arizona
Chris Birkett is a DJ and entertainment vendor in Scottsdale, Arizona, whose garish displays include music, hundreds of thousands of lights, and even Birkett himself, who dresses as Santa for the neighborhood children. His next-door neighbors filed a criminal complaint in 2004, saying that her three children couldn't sleep because of the noise. Chris eventually moved, and now his display is bigger than ever.
(image via dog111blue)
5. The Childses - Denham Springs, Louisiana
Sarah Childs of Denham Springs, Louisiana, landed in hot water a couple of years ago for a Christmas display that saluted her neighbors with an enormous middle finger. Childs was originally threatened with arrest, but after the ACLU stepped in, the lawsuit was decided in her favor, partially because of the behavior of officers who issued spurious tickets in the wake of her court case, and threatened her with violating a nonexistent "obscenity statute." Whoever's side you're on, you probably don't want to go near this one.
(image via myfox8)
4. The Nagels - Murietta, California
Stori Nagel wanted to do something a little different for her Christmas display. After a double mastectomy left her unable to decorate her home, she promised her children that she would decorate the house the next year. Seeking to honor her European heritage and educate the town, she handmade a likeness of the terrifying anti-Santa, the Krampus, who punishes bad children on Santa's behalf. Of course, in a culture that tries to ignore unpleasant things, the Krampus has fallen by the wayside. Neighbors who complained largely misunderstood the decoration as Satanic.
(image via thebloodshedbrothers)
3. Hedge End, United Kingdom
For once, neighbors were cooperating—some 12 homes on a cul-de-sac in Hedge End, Hampshire, put on one enormous Christmas display in the name of charity, raising over $84,000 over the years. But when hundreds of spectators flocked to the area, police blockaded the street and pulled the plug on the whole operation. After another year of contention, it seems that the party is over—the display won't be allowed to continue for 2015, in spite of neighbors' offers to front the money for a traffic control plan.
(image via J and B Services)
2. The Babicks - Prairie Village, Kansas
Mike Babick of Prairie Village ran Christmas lights for 47 years, in a display that started as a couple of strings and became a massive attraction in the state. Minivans became tour buses and limousines as the display got bigger and bigger. But amidst neighbor complaints and traffic concerns, the city passed an ordinance with parameters that seemed pretty clearly designed to target Babick. Many displays in the city would require a permit to operate, but only one of Mike's size would require him to hire an off-duty police officer, at a rate of nearly $45 per hour, to provide security. Babick packed up, moving his lights to a place in Kansas City.
1. The McDonalds - Abilene, Texas
The McDonald family of Abilene, Texas, put up a massive display of 40,000 lights, soliciting donations for the West Texas food bank. While the display is programmed to end at 10:00 p.m. sharp, it's also very gaudy and very loud, as both music and PSAs blare through the neighborhood. In 2014, the display started drawing complaints. You can decide for yourself which side you'd take, but either way, this isn't something you'd want to find yourself in the middle of.
(image via Big Country)