Christmas Lights Head to Court in 2013

The issue of Christmas lights is not a new one to us. From cities who have to abandon public displays of lights because of budget concerns to neighbors complaining about over-the-top displays the issue is not a new one. But as technology advances you have to question when it all becomes a little too much.

Out in the ritzy suburbs of Orange County a Fountain Valley woman made headlines for her display of Christmas lights honoring her husband, who passed away from cancer. 2012 was the second year of her display and this year it was bigger than before — more than 65,000 LED lights synchronized to loud music that blew away the neighbors and drew large festive crowds to the neighborhood. Here is one local news report:

For some, the light display can make an impact in other ways. A Louisiana woman used Christmas lights to craft an image of an extended middle finger pointed to her neighbor, who she accuses of stealing her dog. The local police ticketed the woman and forced her to take down the lights. She took it to court, backed by the ACLU, claiming First Amendment rights to justify the display. Here is another local news report (with the offending Christmas lights blurred out, ironically):

Christmas lights are STILL in the news even though Christmas has past. The first of media reports of people keeping their Christmas lights up too long has already been posted online where discussions of the difference between a “law” and an “ordinance” seems to subdue the fact that Christmas lights to some belong up and on only in December. This report comes from Maine.

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