Christmas Holiday Lighting goes Hollywood

December 11, 2019
Dave Wyman

Christmas is rapidly approaching. As our Christmas holiday lighting technicians string the last strands of lights for our customers, they look forward to a bit of rest and relaxation before ringing in the new year. Like many, a favorite pastime is cozying up with loved ones to watch Christmas movies. Christmas movies are an extension of holiday traditions for many. They reflect current trends and influence viewers. So we thought it would be fun to look at how exterior Christmas lighting has played a part in movies and media. 

Since the first Christmas movie titled Santa Claus appeared in 1898, the production of Christmas movies has increased yearly. Much thanks goes to the Hallmark Channel. The Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” has been so popular, they are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and have produced 40 new holiday movies this year alone! That’s a lot of movies to work your way through in a month. Although most holiday films feature festive exterior decor, we thought it would be fun to look at movies that are either specifically about Christmas holiday lighting or have dedicated some of the story line to lighting. 

Five Films Featuring Christmas Lighting

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989):

This movie is often the first to come to mind when talking about Christmas holiday lighting. Clark Griswald’s fantastic display is something so over-the-top that few even attempt in real life. Upon seeing the illuminated home, Aunt Bethany asks, “is your house on fire, Clark?” Clark responds with, “no, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”

Christmas Lights (2004)

This made for television movie is about Colin and Howie, two friends that have always competed with each other. In Christmas Lights, the competition even extends to Christmas decorations. As the two go to great lengths to one up each other, their focus on being the best strains the other parts of their lives. 

Christmas Lights

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

This movie explores Christmas traditions and what happens when not followed. After learning that the Kranks don’t plan to celebrate Christmas, the neighbors insist that Frosty, a 7 foot tall snowman, still be placed on their roof to match the rest of the houses on the block. When the Kranks refuse, neighbor children chant “Free Frosty” and the adults try to negotiate for Frosty to be put in place. It seems that they are okay with the Kranks skipping Christmas as long as their exterior is decorated. 

Deck the Halls (2006)

There Glows the Neighborhood” is the tagline used for this movie that features neighbors competing over holiday exterior lighting and Christmas traditions. Watch as “Mr. Christmas” (Matthew Broderick) is threatened by area newcomer (Danny DeVito).  If you have ever had the desire to have your house so packed with lights that it can be seen from space, you may find yourself cheering on Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick as they compete to be the most festive in Cloverdale. “This Christmas when the lights go on…the gloves come off.”

Christmas Holiday Lighting

Battle of the Bulbs (2010)

Much like in Deck the Halls, all is well until a new neighbor moves in and disrupts tradition. In Battle of the Bulbs, Bob Wallace prides himself on having the most festive house in the neighborhood. When the new neighbor’s lighting outshines  Bob’s home, competition begins and the two fight for the best decorated house.

More than Movies

Many Christmas movies focus on the importance of tradition during the holiday season. Competition is also a popular theme. Even television couldn’t resist. Shows like The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC feature families willing to go to extreme measures to have the most decorated home in America.

If you decide to forgo television and curl up with a good book instead, don’t panic. A quick Goodreads search for “Christmas Lights” produces over 400 titles to choose from. Even author Maya Angelou once commented “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” 

It seems that Christmas lighting has firmly become a part of our holiday experience. Lighting and Hollywood have captured the magic of the holiday season. As Coldplay laments in their song, “Christmas Lights” it may even have the power to bring his partner back to him as he sings, “Oh Christmas lights keep shining on – Those Christmas lights – Light up the street – Maybe they’ll bring her back to me – Then all my troubles will be gone – Oh Christmas lights keep shining on.” 

Your 2020 Dream Home

Paradise Lawns hopes you enjoy the magic that your holiday lights bring you this holiday season. We thank you for your business and the opportunity to help be a part of your Christmas lighting magic this year.  If you haven’t yet scheduled your exterior holiday lighting with us, take a little time to dream about how you would love to have your home and give us a call. We provide a complete holiday experience from start to finish with our Holiday Lighting service. Click or call Dave 402-612-1527 to learn more about our exterior Christmas lighting services – sales, design, installation, maintenance, takedown, and storage and bring your cinematic dreams to life in 2020!



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