Decorating for Christmas: How Much Is Too Much?

By: Will Jones Email
By: Will Jones Email

Christmas time is about spending time with family and helping others, but for some, it's also very much about putting up Christmas lights in their yard. Each year, many homes are decorated with lights, reindeer and much more. But there's a price for this type of holiday spirit.

The Sullivans always put their holiday lights up right after Thanksgiving, but neighbors noticed they were a little late this year.

It took four days to put up all their lights and other outside holiday decorations. When the lights go up each year, so does their electricity bill. It doubles. But they say it's well worth it.

According to the National Retail Federation the average American will spend about $46 dollars this year on all holiday decorations compared with about $41 dollars in 2005.

Christy Brickell says over the years her family has collected about $500 to $600 dollars of outside holiday decorations alone.

“My husband has done this every year since the girls were very tiny,” said Brickell. “This is something he wants them to remember.”

She says if her husband could, he would have a lot more for his girls and the neighbors to remember in their yard.

“I think you can go overboard and my husband would if we didn't put restrictions on things,” said Brickell. “I think we would have a landing strip somewhere.”

At least Santa Claus won't have a problem finding the Brickell home with all their lights.

If some people are a little too competitive with their holiday light displays, blame electricity companies for starting it! In the late 1920s, some electricity companies sponsored neighborhood-decorating contests to drive up the sales of outdoor lights.


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