DIY Furniture & Design

15 Times Outdoor X-Mas Decorations Went Too Far

From Christmas carnivals on the lawn to grand light shows synchronized to holiday music, these 15 houses decked out with over-the- top decor and lighting provide shining examples of how to ring in the holidays with panache.

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Reimagined Nativity Scene in Toronto via Michael Gil

This electrifying display in Toronto puts a colorful twist on the traditional nativity scene by enlisting a cast of unlikely supporting characters, including a larger-than-life dancing snowman. The De Sario family, who create this yearly spectacular, spread yet more light and cheer by donating funds raised from visitors to benefit sick children.

Related: 12 Other Ways to Decorate with Xmas Ornaments

Covered in Christmas in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada via Peter Gordon

If the electric bill is through the roof at this address in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, the culprit is the jaw-dropping floor-to-roof Christmas decor. Every inch of the abode is adorned with vivid lights, playful props, and charming seasonal characters. From the candy-cane fence at ground level to the Santa Claus parked right beside the chimney, this seasonal celebration raises holiday spirit to a new, brighter level. 

Nature’s Nativity in Calle, Germany

There’s no shortage of cheer—or Christmas lights—at this radiant residence in the town of Calle in Germany. The house plays host to a shocking 420,000 lights, including novelty designs that salute the season with illuminated snowflakes and pine trees.

Related: The 12 Best Holiday Hacks of All Time

Traditional-Meets-Modern Christmas in Jamaica Plain in Boston, Massachusetts via WBUR Boston’s NPR News Station

Tiny twinkling lights in bright but elegant colors allow the more unusual elements to take center stage at this holiday display in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in Boston. Traditional symbols of the season, including snowmen and snowflakes, find a place alongside prancing ponies and contemporary characters like Winnie the Pooh. Crowning it all is a light-up rooftop crown with a luminous orb on each tine.

Winter Wonderland in Saugus, Massachusetts

It’s no wonder that residents of Saugus, Massachusetts, pay an annual visit to this knock-your-socks-off Christmas display as part of their holiday traditions. Holiday figurines interspersed with a luminous array of multicolored Christmas trees look like glittering townspeople walking through a real-life winter wonderland.

Related: 15 Insanely Easy Ways to Decorate for the Holidays

Ultraviolet Blues in Hürth, Germany

Forgoing traditional Christmas colors of red and green, this one-of-a-kind holiday light display in Hürth, Germany, floods the outdoors with hues from the cooler end of the spectrum. Bright blue lights play alongside vivid violets, while an eclectic collection of illuminated shrubs lend visual variety to the at-home light show.

Related: 9 Tips and Tricks to Cut the Christmas Clutter

Hyatt Extreme Christmas in Plantation, Florida via Charles Zangle

Why wait for summer to visit the amusement park when you can check out a brightly lighted Ferris wheel at the Hyatt family’s holiday display in Plantation, Florida? When visitors spy the herd of flying reindeer, or Santa and his pals at the workshop, they are sure to “Believe in the magic of Christmas” again.

Related: 7 Ways to Transform String Lights from Holiday to Every Day

Steel City Christmas in Baldwin, Pennsylvania via Derek McGraw

Since 2005, the Cox family has employed their eye-popping Christmas display to raise donations for charity. The spectacle boasts 250,000 lights that dance to music, making this house a popular stop for residents of Baldwin, Pennsylvania. The annual show takes 18 days to set up, but the lifelong memories visitors leave with surely make all that work worthwhile.

Tripp Family Christmas in Yonkers, Georgia via Joey Tripp

Designed by the Tripp family, this artful display of lights in Yonkers, Georgia, is almost too perfect for words. Super-straight rows of golden string lights on the rooftop and along the lawn perimeter coupled with the crowd of Christmas revelers capture the joy and pageantry of the holiday, but with a down-home sensibility.

Related: 10 Holiday Ornaments to DIY with Everyday Stuff

Mill of Marvels in Clifton, Ohio via Tina Lawson

Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, the lights of Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio, switch on, turning the water-powered grist mill into a feast for the eyes. During the light show, the windows, roof, siding, covered bridge, and trees are gorgeously illuminated by 3,500,000 Christmas lights. At the top of each hour, the lights cut out to darkness as orchestral music fills all ears with the joyful sounds of the season.

Related: Keep It Green: How to Make Your Xmas Tree Last All Season

Faux Snow Christmas in Dublin, California

Despite this home’s location in sunny Dublin, California, the generous use of icicle lights in the Christmas tableau mimics the look of snow on the eaves, giving the display a classic holiday glow. The frosty white lights create the perfect wintry conditions
for Santa, Rudolph, and Snoopy, who each make a memorable appearance at this festive residence.

Related: Look Alive: 8 Ways to Make Your Fake Tree Fool Anyone

Chockful of Cheer in Queens, New York via Lulu Vision

A veritable who’s who of beloved holiday figures, this cheery, very full house in Queens in New York City squeezes in a nativity scene, sheepherders, snowmen, and even a choir of rosy-cheeked Christmas carolers on the front lawn. The facade of the house is equally crowded, packed with rooftop elves, little drummer boys, perfectly poised nutcrackers—and the Grinch himself guarding the front door.

Parade of Angels in Brooklyn, New York via Wally Gobetz

It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd of ornate Christmas light displays in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, but this residence achieves the feat with an eye-catching flurry of snowflake-shaped lights and seasonal props. A light-up Christmas choir greets passersby, while glowing angels usher them up the steps to meet a giant nutcracker—and old St. Nick himself.

Related: Christmas Miracle: 8 Simple Fixes for All Your Tree Troubles

Free from the Chimney in Newport, England

After delivering gifts to everyone on the “nice” list, Santa effortlessly squeezes through the “chimney” on the front lawn of this home in Newport, England. Santa and his reindeer friends are joined by a whole host of holiday decorations and a full spectrum of holiday colors.

On Santa’s Trail in London, Ontario, Canada

It looks like Santa and his little helpers forgot to cover their tracks after putting together this dazzling display in London, Ontario. Elves cling from the eaves of the house, and a reindeer in a scarf still has its paws on the front door. Look carefully and you’ll see Mr. Claus himself ambling up a ladder to the rooftop to prepare for a busy night of sleigh riding.

Related: 14 Vintage Xmas Ideas to Borrow from the Past