How to out Griswold the Griswolds.

It’s the time of year when slowly but surely houses along your street start putting out the Christmas decorations and lights to help make for a joyful and festive experience for all. As is the custom of modern day Christmas many folks, such as the one pictured here, take the theme of excess to heart when decorating their homes. It’s as if the Griswold family has run amok in some places or perhaps Tim Taylor of Home Improvement got loose in your neighborhood. There’s even a website dedicated to such folks called Planet Christmas which has tips and guides on how to make sure there isn’t a square inch of your home that isn’t covered with lights and what the general flash point of wood siding is so you don’t accidentally burn your house down with them. You can also show off your decorating prowess and there’s a forum for talking about how to be even more excessive than you were last year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really bashing these folks. If I A) had a house and B) could afford to do it I’d be just as bad as anyone else in this group is. Worse, probably, because I have the decorating sense of an epileptic walrus. I love this stuff, even the tacky ones like the example I posted, though I’d hope that I could manage to be a bit more tasteful about it like one of my fellow Canton neighbors has managed to do year after year.

But with so many people getting into the excessive Christmas lights spirit it starts to get harder and harder to set yourself apart from all the other folks participating. What can an obsessive Christmas light hanger do that’ll make his display that much more unique? Just use professional stage lighting equipment to sync your lights to music such as the hyper-energetic Wizards of Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!

This person has about 16,000 lights, 88 LightORama channels. The Mega tree has 48,500, and the triangle in the middle is made up of 22 mini-trees, with 300 lights each, or 6300 total. (You may have seen this video floating around on the Internet in November 2005. I can assure you that it’s real, and computer control was used to create all of the effects you see here. It is not a fake.)

The video clip and the quoted text come from Wonderland maintained by Don Teague who explains how to go about making your own Christmas display synced to music. The house in that video isn’t Don’s, but he does have his own house wired and ready for the holidays and his display is set to go live in just over 2 days time. He also has links to more video clips that people have sent them of their own creations including a second one by the folks who did the video I linked to above only set to the tune of Jingle Bells. I have to say that I am just green with envy over how friggin’ cool this is and the fact that I can’t even begin to imagine doing something similar myself. These guys must have some patient neighbors though, as the houses do attract no small amount of attention with lots of visitors stopping by. Several of the folks who run such displays end up collecting donations for their pet charities which is pretty cool thing to do considering their electric bill must go through the roof during the month or so they have these things running.

I keep watching the Wizards of Winter clip over and over again because it gets me so stoked every time I see it. It’s not hard to understand why as it appeals to both my gadget geek and my Christmas geek sides all at once. Can’t help it, I love this stuff.

Update: Here’s a link to another copy of the video that might be a bit easier to pull up. Kudos to Adam for locating it.

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