Last Christmas I took my young niece and nephew to visit a house in western Broward County that is very celebrated for its holiday display. As promised, the house was ablaze with lights, the grounds were filled with toys and other scenes designed to entrance young visitors and even an outdoor movie screen had been set up to play Disney Christmas movies.
Not surprisingly, my niece and nephew were delighted and my husband and I also saw the charm although we both looked at the narrow cul de sac packed with cars and trash on an empty lot and overflowing to the neighbors' surrounding homes and said simultaneously: "nice but not to live next door to this."
It turns out I did know someone who lives in this cul de sac and they lamented about having to deal with the issues not just for the Twelve Days of Christmas but starting in September and running through January. While it is easy to paint anyone who is not fully supportive of a 5-month holiday celebration that draws tens of thousands of visitors steps from your front door as "anti Christmas and anti kids" the reality can be quite different. Try getting an ambulance through during one of the more active nights and you might just need Santa's sleigh to take you to the hospital. On a less serious note, plastic displays that look lovely at night can look cheap and unappealing in the unforgiving light of day and particularly to that new homebuyer inspecting a property in mid October when a holiday display is not an expected sight.
According to one report, the homeowners previously lived in a community association but when their increasingly lavish display became incompatible with the association lifestyle the decision was made to move to a home outside the parameters of a mandatory association.
While many people critique association rules and regulations, the folks on that Plantation cul de sac who have been unable to obtain help from their city officials might just embrace them come September!
Read the Sun Sentinel story here:
This work by Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Generic License.