Holiday Star Wars: The Battle of Lights vs. Cheer

by Cheria BrickhouseDecember 20, 2017

Tis’ the season to be jolly and deck the halls with boughs of holly! As Christmas approaches, many homeowners have opted-in to make their home a veritable holiday display through the use of plants, wreaths, Christmas inflatables, holiday string lights, laser lighting and more. And while decorating the outside of your home is intended to manifest Christmas cheer to passersby, we can also expect the holiday spirit to draw out some healthy competition amongst neighbors.

We surveyed 2,000 Americans to find out what lengths people are going to this holiday season to outdo their neighbors with festive displays, holiday parties, and good old-fashioned decorations! You’ll be surprised at the results we saw:


We all want to be the home in the neighborhood that makes the kiddies and their parents gasp in awe. Although not everyone participates in competitive lighting, the study found that one in five Americans decorates their home to try to outshine all of the other houses on their block.


While a home’s decor is normally perceived to be the purview of the women of the house, Christmas decorations appear to be an exception. The survey showed men to be more than twice as competitive as women, with 34 percent of men reporting being in a decoration competition with their neighbors, compared to just 14 percent of women. Surprised? So were we!


Not every Christmas display makes a house a beacon of holiday joy, though. In fact, for some, the sight of Christmas lights can be a bit of an eyesore. Depending on your decorations of choice it can be easy to miss the mark – 22 percent of Americans think their neighbor’s decorations are too tacky, while 27 percent believe their neighbor has gone overboard with too many decorations. (Editor – And apparently there’s only one kind of holiday light you should be buying.)

Not everyone cares to be apart of any of these decorating wars, however, sixty-nine percent of people are raising their game this year for the holiday decorations even if they are not necessarily competing with their neighbors. Almost a third of those polled (32 percent), are planning to put up more lights than last year, 17 percent have vowed to get a bigger tree and 43 percent are planning to purchase new decorations.

On average, people estimate their collection of holiday decorations is worth a sizable $358 overall, and a quarter (25%) have spent over $500 amassing decorations for their home.

What exactly are people buying for that much money? The most common holiday decorations are a Christmas tree (89 percent) and indoor tree lights (73 percent). However, wreaths (69 percent), tree ornaments (65 percent), and house lights (60 percent) are popular with most Americans.


While some (Editor – no one I know) enjoy the process and work that outdoor Christmas light installation and decoration requires, some Americans prefer indoor festivities, like hosting holiday parties in their fun ugly Christmas sweater. According to the survey, the most important part of a good festive socializer is how warm the hosts are (50 percent), followed by the quality of snacks (47 percent), and if the hosts are generous with the food and drink (37 percent). Of the 56 percent of Americans who host parties at home, a third have tried to make their holiday event better than a neighbor’s shindig!

But, despite the competitiveness, the true meaning of Christmas isn’t totally lost. 38% of people would invite their neighborhood “Scrooge” over for holiday festivities.


And sometimes the competitiveness doesn’t Grinch the holidays -the survey shows over 60 percent of Americans prefer not to compete with their neighbors at all!

It’s great to see the holiday spirit alive and well both inside and outside American homes. Despite these results, one fact remains the same — the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year! Where would you fall in the poll… naughty or nice neighbor? Share your thoughts below!

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About The Author
Cheria Brickhouse
Cheria is an aspiring homeowner and the Content Marketing Coordinator for When she isn't working, she stays busy sewing, designing, and diving into all sorts of DIY projects.