Jump to content
Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Sign in to follow this  
Christmas Angel

Re: Getting shut down?

Recommended Posts

I am a new Christmas light person and decided for my first year out to go with about 9000 lights, 32 channels of LOR and an FM transmitter. We also decided to raise money for the Montreal Children's Hospital in hopes of teaching my 3 year old son a little more about Christmas. We have had amazing responses from everyone except my immediate neighbors. We have had local news media coverage, been in four local newspapers, a morning radio station anchor came by to see the show and raved about us the next day... needless to say we have seen some traffic.

Website: http://www.johnsonirrigation.com/e/light/xmasshow.htm

I found out from a neighbor two doors down that they have called the city and have been told there was nothing that could be done. They have also called the police and were told it was nota police matter (luckily there was no traffic that night-only 3 or 4 cars). Then we learn that they have now gone around to all the neighbors with a petition that they are going to take to the city in the New Year.

My question is this... do I plan to light up next year and has anyone else had problems with their neighbors or with the city trying to shut them down? We have raised just over $2000.00 and I am pretty excited about what this tradition could turn into if my neighbors would just get into the Christmas spirit too. I have caught the Christmas lighting bug and have already purchased another 5000 lights and hope to triple the channels I have next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might not be a bad idea to donate some of your proceeds to the City or Policemans ball ;):lol:

That really SUCKS. I'm surprised more of my neighbors didn't come over and talk to me about my lights, which makes me wonder if I was a hit with everyone or a nuisance? I'm worried about next year... as I know my display is going to grow by leaps and bounds for 2007. And if I get shut down............. :cryingdevil: :devil::cryingdevil: I'm not sure what I'd do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toaster wrote:

I'm surprised more of my neighbors didn't come over and talk to me about my lights, which makes me wonder if I was a hit with everyone or a nuisance?

I've yet to have a neighbor on the street say, "Thank you" or "That was great" to me about the lights. When I ask, they all say they love it, and it's no problem at all. They love to show family when they come into town.

So, I guess it's a hit around my place, but no one is going to come right out and tell me so.

Christmas Angel;

At least in the States, you'd really only have to fear a city ordinance being past. If you folks have the equivalent of a Home Owners Association, I would worry about them more than the city. If the neighbors have had no property damage, then really don't have much to complain about. Don't let them throw out the religion argument. We have plenty of stories right here on PC where people of different faiths understand and appreciate what the other person is trying to do. (Heck, check out PicktownLights.com ... 15 houses on one street, and one of the home owners is Jewish, yes, they have the Menorah out front.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been there, done that (almost identically, as far as how the neighbors reacted and what the city's response was). We also went to non-binding arbitration, which I'm not sure helped the problem or not but at least it gave the city the (correct) impression that we're trying to work with these people.

See if there's any specific complaints you can address -- for me a couple were the lateness of the show (they are early-to-bed, early-to-rise folks) and the extreme traffic on Christmas Eve. We now cut off at 9:30 on most nights (10:00 on Fri and Sat) and don't run the show on Christmas Eve at all. Some here think that's too extreme, but it was better than getting forced to shut down. We've run for 2 more seasons since this happened and although our neighbors hate our guts, I think they've come to realize that it isn't going to go away so they no longer badger the city about it (to my knowledge).

I've tried to work on repairing relations for "the rest of the year" but they are not interested -- they pretty much told us that we're evil people that aren't worth their time.

-Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't think you have a problem (but I may be wrong), Locallaw enforcement has no jurisdiction over what is transmittedon local airways, that would fall under the FCC (as long as you are legal) and unless they outlaw Christmas lights or blinkingChristmas lights (which I don't think would happen, because at that point you could bring it to the local media as a war on Christmas issue), I don't know how they could possibly outlaw a synchronized light display.

Just my thoughts

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a tough one Christmas Angel - Here you are putting smiles on faces of the people in your community - raising money for a worthy cause and your neighbors dont like what you are doing. I think a lot of the problem may be your location (meaning that if you live in subdivision on a court) their could be lots of traffic which does get annoying to those that live around you. The positive is that you have 11 months to patch things up with the neighbors. If I were you (and I am to some degree since I will going to about 50,000 lights next year from the current 15,000) I would talk to the neighbors in the spring of 2007 to get there consent on the display next year. Perhaps they may be willing to help in the planning - and then it becomes a neighborhood thing - rather than your thing. In one if Tim Fischer previous post on the same topic I think he planned for some BBQs at his house during the summer to make up for "inconvenience his neighbors suffer while the display was on. If they simply dont want it - perhaps you can build your display in the local park. It is very unfortunate that you have to deal with this type of problem with all the hard work you put into the display and the good that comes from it.

Christian Duncan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions, as far as "smoothing" things over with these two neighbors, I don't have a hope. I was told by the neighbor two doors down that if anyone else on the street had done this these two would not have had a problem but because it was us, they want it shut down. I already put up a big sign that says "special thanks to our neighbors" plus I update the bottom of the sign every couple of days with how much we have raised. My husband and I are hoping to quell the beast by having a meeting with local city counsellors in the New Year.

The more I think about these two grinches, the more I want to keep this going and making it bigger and bigger and bigger... the cards of thanks and little notes I have gotten from people is worth a little aggravation for these two men. They have made our lives miserable since we moved in so I guess in a round about way they reaped what they sowed - revenge is horrible - even though that was not my intent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they have started a petition, start your own petition. Take a pad and paper out to every car that stops by to watch your show and have them sign it. I bet there are more folks that like your show than the mean neighbor guys can find that hate it.

:waycool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A guest book will provide documentation in your favor about the good you are doing. Our guest book is signed by thousands, and the comments column reflects how much people really appreciate what you are doing. Our guest book stands as a "petition" against anyone who would attempt to shut us down. It is wise to document as much as you can about everything that takes place at your display such as estimated number of visitors , childrengetting excited about Christmas in front of your house , mothers holding babies and rocking them to the music,things a Judge in a court of law might be influenced by. One very important thing to do is invest in a dB meter [sound level measurement] for about $50 , and document your readingsnightly. The legal limit here is 85 dB at 20 ft. We run at 76 dB at 20 ft. Also take measurements of normal traffic noise - you will be surprised at how loud it is- no one can then use that against you. According to our attorneys , to be shut down there will have to be a law suit filed against you. Do not be bluffed by a few grinches . They will have to go to a lot of trouble and expense to shut you down. Staywell within the limits of the law and be prepared to counteract any negatives with an abundance of documented positives concerning your display.I will admit that at some point your display may become too largefor it's location. Your common sense will then have to dictate it's relocationor curb it's growth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tfischer wrote:

Been there, done that (almost identically, as far as how the neighbors reacted and what the city's response was). We also went to non-binding arbitration, which I'm not sure helped the problem or not but at least it gave the city the (correct) impression that we're trying to work with these people.

See if there's any specific complaints you can address -- for me a couple were the lateness of the show (they are early-to-bed, early-to-rise folks) and the extreme traffic on Christmas Eve. We now cut off at 9:30 on most nights (10:00 on Fri and Sat) and don't run the show on Christmas Eve at all. Some here think that's too extreme, but it was better than getting forced to shut down. We've run for 2 more seasons since this happened and although our neighbors hate our guts, I think they've come to realize that it isn't going to go away so they no longer badger the city about it (to my knowledge).

I've tried to work on repairing relations for "the rest of the year" but they are not interested -- they pretty much told us that we're evil people that aren't worth their time.

That is just aweful. I feel for you guys. As an owner of big display that has become a tourist draw, our quiet street turns into the most popular place to be in town, drive-bys of over 7 illuminated parades, I really feel fortunate that all our neighbors get along with it quite well and even dig living on the most famous Christmas street in town. On days the parades are expected, neighbors set up lawn chairs and tables in their front yards and have a few beers waiting on the parades.

I got a voice over from demented elf that says Welcome to Rawls Road Christmas, please dont block driveways and yada yada yada, and it worked great! No one parked in any neighbor's driveways this year and some of the neighbors that voiced problems with that were very happy this year with the announcement and lack of problems.

My one neighbor with the most problems even opened up his house allowing children visiting the display to come and use his bathroom although we were advised that we need to include a port-a-potty in next year's budget.

We also had a suprising number of requests to have souvenier T-Shirts and coffee mugs printed and to open up a souvenier shop. Wow, that one blows me away, I never expected there to be a demand for that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, sounds like alot of media coverage for your first year...I think your neighbors got overwhelmed...Thats understandable when they are not use to it...then BOOM! Traffic and cars outside.....

Maybe you could go talk to them about it.....How much traffic was there??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely wish I had asked this question sooner, I have had a lot of positive feedback from everyone and could have used the idea of a guestbook. Traffic the last couple of nights has been slow so I don't think it would draw many signatures now.

As far as how bad the traffic got... I would say we were up to about a maximum of 30 cars, I was out there and the people were all being polite, staying to the sides of the road, I am kind of lucky because my front property fronts on two sides (my lot is kind of like being in the middle of a the letter Y) so this has allowed for traffic of about 20 cars to park on either side of the road and still be in "front" of my house. I noticed that no one ever parked in the neighbors driveway and if they did use their driveway to turn around most backed in, to not shine their lights in the houses.

After my busy weekend I cut out two of my songs taking the show down to 12 minutes and threw away plans to add my synchro for Christmas Vacation. We also added a message from us saying welcome, thanks for supporting us, the hospital and please respect the neighbors because without their support this show would not be possible. This has seemed to help but is hard to put up any more signs or say much more in our message as we are obligated to put everything in French and then in English. The only thing I have noticed is that some people don't shut off their lights while watching the show, I know that if they are parked in certain spots, this will shine right into the living room of my neighbor. But this is not their TV room. With only a couple more nights left, I think I will leave it alone for this year and add that to the message next year.

All I know from my lawyer is unless they file a lawsuit for the nuisance, I should be in the clear. That is as long as the by-laws in the city don't change. Meanwhile I think I will be out there dancing up a storm until January 1st. -:waycool: haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...