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digdug7869

Crotchety Neighbors...Bah Humbug...or...Maybe Not!!!!

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For all of you that think your neighbors "hate" your light show....I have a "Crotchety Old Man" that lives next door to me...during the year. If I cut 1/2" over into his lawn he knocks on my door to let me know...or he will call code enforcement if I park the tires of my truck on my lawn and not on the driveway...or if my Rottis bark after 9pm(which by the way...don't bark much and are "inside" dogs). You get the picture... with that in mind...tonight I get a knock at the door about 8pm...assuming it was him because it is the 7th of January and my lights are still up...I figured it was Crotchety. Well I was right...only to my BIG surprise he asked me to come outside because he wanted to talk to me. (Uh Oh!!!!) He handed me an envelope and said that he knew that he was a bit of a pain in the but and his New Year's Resolution was to be a better neighbor!!! He said since his wife had past a few years ago he really just wasn't a happy man. He had stopped decorating for Christmas and the last two years he has been "secretly" parking his car in front of my house with the radio dialed to my show almost every night (and he lives right next door!!!! & I have speakers in the front yard!!!!). I told him of course that I appreciated the fact that he was enjoying the show and that I was worried that he didn't like them and wanted me to take them down!!! He chuckled and said I can understand why you might have thought that. He then said the envelope is for you...it's not much and I hope it will help...but I just wanted to thank you for putting Christmas back into my life. I thanked him again and he left to head back home. When I came back inside I told my wife about our conversation (of course she thought the worst too) and I opened the envelope. It was a Christmas Card with a handwritten note that said "Thank You for putting Christmas back into my life and I hope your Holiday and your New Year will be as "Bright" as your Christmas Lights" and contained a Lowe's Gift card for $500!!!! WOW I was speechless!!!!

So putting up your display is not only important to you and your family but it can be important to others as well. So when you think noone would care...set up the display...sit in front of your house...and wait for the people to tell you how much they like it!!! If you build it....they will come!!!! Even if it's just that one Crotchety neighbor your lights mught just give them a change of heart!!!! Christmas is a season for giving and what we all do is give a little to our communities!!! Keep the Lights Burning!!!! Wrap the bush and don't hide the light under it!!!!

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Doug AWESOME story! Its easy to miss if your not out talking to people every night, it sometimes easy to think that you wish more people where out watching your hard work, but I think that we all put A LOT of joy into a lot of people lives at Christmas with out getting to see it from inside our homes. When something like this happens its GREAT to remind us just how many people we do touch.

Merry Christmas Doug!

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Wow... great message in a great story. Most of us will probably never know how many people's lives we've touched just by having our displays up. Thanks for sharing!

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Guest yukon

An Inspirational story Doug....reading other comments I kind of felt the same way. This was my first year with LOR and while the show was running I would look out our front window to see if any cars had stopped to look at the dispaly. It took a while at first cause most cars seemed to drive by slowly not realizing there was music sequenced to the lights (I did post a sign but not nearly big enough or lit for people to see). Anyway within a few days I would see people pull up, kill the headlights put on the parking lights and sit and enjoy a few songs...It went from a few cars a night to lines of cars on Christmas Eve. Had a few issues with people parking in my neighbors driveway to get a better view ( I did use the DE voiceovers but some people just don't listen to that part) LOL but otherwise it seemed like a huge success. I had a hard time going outside to greet people so I just assumed most liked it. It wasn't until the few days after Christmas while I was outside taking the dispaly down that I really understood. Without exageration, I had to have at least 20 or more cars stop and tell me how much they enjoyed the lights ...what and awesome display...what a gift to the neighborhood...and on and on...It was amazing...I felt like a million bucks and inspired for next year....

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This is an absolutely great story!

You never realize what all this work and time means to people, and then someone will surprise you like this!

My neighbors all kid me about being nuts at Christmas with all the lights, but the do it in a way that lets me know they appreciate it.

l always tell them that I do it for family, friends and neighbors, that's all. They appreciate this since I live at the end of a dirt road and there really is no place to turn around. I am very aware of potential traffic issues!

After 4 years of doing this, I continue to get thank you's from people. This year I met some new neighbors that were out on the 4 wheeler looking at Christmas lights. I saw them out front and thought they were someone else. Turns out we had a nice conversation and they brought their 3 grand daughters back the next night to watch.

Whenever you are feeling like it is too much work, remember these stories and it will reinvigorate you.

Happy New Year!

Mike.

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Great story - thanks for sharing.

It wasn't until the few days after Christmas while I was outside taking the dispaly down that I really understood. Without exageration, I had to have at least 20 or more cars stop and tell me how much they enjoyed the lights ...what and awesome display...what a gift to the neighborhood...and on and on...It was amazing...I felt like a million bucks and inspired for next year....

Our house is quite a ways back from the road, so it is really hard to see if any cars have stopped once they have turned off their lights. But when it comes time to take them down - we get lots of people stopping, or people walking their dogs, kids playing, etc -- and all saying how much "they loved the lights this year". It is amazing how many people see the lights that you never even knew about. Seems we hear this story every year on PC tho - you just don't know who or how many are being touched by your efforts.

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Doug,

Thank You for sharing your awesome story. I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Being merciful to people, also demonstrate compassion toward the hurting and needy. Be inspirational to those who are in ill health, people who have lost a loved one, and those who are in a disheartened state or in life challenges.

Emotionally wounded people cannot help but be highly sensitive. Words hit them like whips. It is vital that they be treated verbally with the careful tenderness you would use if you were dressing gaping physical wounds. Once we understand the seriousness of emotional wounds, it’s surprisingly easy to employ the Christ like graces of turning the other cheek and using the soft answer that turns away wrath.

God wants us to show compassion to those who are hurting and suffering, as if we are serving Christ himself! Our willingness to show mercy to others signifies that we ourselves have received mercy.

When we are spiritually sick with a hardened heart, we are under the bondage of an unforgiving spirit. What typically happens is that a double standard settles into place. On the one hand, we want God to have unlimited patience with our shortcomings. Here’s my whole point. There is no place for Christians to build walls, point fingers, condemn, judge, and cast others away.

Seeing someone in need and offering help is a great way to put compassion into practice. Spend some time sharing, helping, and treating people with good intentions. A friendly smile to a stranger, holding the door for a person carrying bags, or letting someone pass you on the highway. These are simple ways of showing compassion for our fellow human beings.

A kind word or even a Christmas display can change the outlook of a persons life for the better.

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Since he stopped decorating because of depression, I'd ask him if you could help him out by combining your two homes as one display. He may appreciate the offer of someone decorating his home for him.

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Thanks to all of you for your comments!!! I wrote it so that all of you could see the reason we do what we do and want to make it bigger and better every year!!! I know all of you have similar stories but I felt I needed to share mine!!! Even my wife who thinks I am crazy for doing and spending what I do thinks it is GREAT to have a forum like this to share best practices and stories like this!!! I almost didn't set up my lights this year since she was hurt on the job and finances were tight. Along woth all of the physical theraphy and doctors appointments I just almost gave it up this year. Much later than I wanted I set up the lights...and out of that came many thanks and my couple of stories which have helped me through this tough time. I am glad that I did...otherwise I would have never had these stories to tell...which brings me more than money could ever do.... I will NEVER misss setting up my lights even if it means I am working till Santa shows up on Christmas Eve!!!!

Thanks again for all those that made a comment and keep the Lights Burning Bright...Someone might need them...even you!!!!

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Since he stopped decorating because of depression, I'd ask him if you could help him out by combining your two homes as one display. He may appreciate the offer of someone decorating his home for him.

I actually have the neighbor across the street that asked me when they moved in this year if anyone decorates for Christmas...I told him I did a little and so does a guy down the street but the rest just enjoy the lights. When he saw what I was doing...he dicided not to bring down his decorations from Minnesota where he moved from. I think I will talk with him next year and see about the "Over the top...Over the Street" display. From what he said he has LOTS of decorations and I think he would have a blast doing it with me. Hus wife sits in their front room and tunes in the radio so she can see the show. She actually asked me if I could get a sign to move cars along so she could see the show better!!! Maybe 2012...I have too many projects including setting up a display in Kingman Arizon for a friend of mine's mom...I will be "National" this year!!!! As well as adding multi channel color arches and Jingle Bells for my little 12 year old friend in the neighborhood this year!!! My wife said I am busier now "After" Christmas than I was before...I told her I have incintive to get things done this year and I can't wait till Christmas to do it. She reminded me of her not working and I reminded her of my stories...I actually won the argument!!! First time in 7 years!!!! LOL

I can't wait till my lights all come in and I get all the new Arches programmed!!! It will be a fun year!!!!

Thanks again Planet Christmas Members!!! You are TRUELY "The Best"!!!!!!!

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Thats a wonderful story Doug!

I used to get a card in the mail box from someone that just read "your lights make our Christmas merry and bright" Never found out who it was from, but it made me realize the true meaning and spirit of Christmas and you never know who's lives you will touch each year.

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Yeah I will have to say that it sparked me to ramp it up another notch next year!!! He was the one I was afraid would call code enforcement on the power usage or something but now LOOK OUT here come the lights now!!! I have lots of plans for next year and have already started on them!!!

Thanks for all your comments!!!

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