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Not doing a show this year


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This is my 2nd year. Last year I was worried that no one would come so I "got the word out" and did a really good job. They came in droves. People drove from hours away, sat in line for over an hour, that often stretched a half mile. I *LIKE* Christmas lights, but I wouldn't do this, and I didn't think anyone would.

This is my 2nd year and now that the neighbors see me putting put lights they are like, "Yeah, we need to talk..."

So I step back and ask myself, "What do I really want out of this?"

1. Do a really cool/fun/wow-factor light show for me and my family.
2. " for friends and neighbors.
3. Don't destroy the Christmas holiday for me and the neighborhood. Yeah, it's no so much fun only being able to do one song to avoid the cars being stacked up for 1/2 mile.

...But I have a really good solution. Just don't do a show.

So I do the lights statically, and then every so often, almost sporadically, without warning kickoff 1-4 musical sequences and then back to static. People won't be able to predict when the musical sequences will be, so they won't queue up.

The effect is I'll lose some repeat lookers (that needs to happen anyway), my family gets to enjoy the lights (anytime we want), and we keep the traffic down.

Means my scheduler is going to be pretty complicated this year. Might have to do some scripting to automatically generate this file. Anybody have some cool tips on creating mini shows that kick off randomly?

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Sorry to hear things got out of control. This type of story is repeated often here and hopefully the new folks will take heed this season.

We live in a small town. Going into last season we had our typical 1 - 3 cars an hour, and after four years I really thought there was no way we would ever have to worry about traffic. So when my neighbor threatened to call the little home town paper (circulation ~3,000) I wasn't worried.

The paper hit the stands two days before Christmas. That night there was a noticeable increase in cars. Christmas Eve we suddenly had a line of 7 cars watching the show. I know that's a small crowd for some. But we live on a narrow dead end street. Fortunately the cars stayed to one side of the road and there wasn't a single issue. I'm not really sure what to expect this year.

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I see this creating further issues as many people will just hang around until the random sequence happens.

The only way to keep traffic flowing and the sequence entertaining is to do a 1 song mix that has many songs mixed in. I have traffic issues myself with 250 - 300 cars in a 1.5 hour period so this year i have a 6 1/2 minute music mix with 10 songs plus a voice over inbetween. Last year i had the one song and this was a bit boring but it kept the traffic flowing.

The only other option is to skip a year completely and have the house in darkness

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What if you just scheduled it for unusual times? Let's say not on the hour or half hour, and not on any multiple of "5" minutes? Maybe set it for 17 minutes after the hour, for example. Only 2 runs per hour. And no shows before 8:30 (or 9). I would think just starting later would kill most of the crowd - and let the neighbors get home before anything starts?

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Heh, I said something similar in another thread a few days ago. :)

We're going to do a static-ish display. The only time sequences will play are when we want to watch one... or when friends or family come over and knock at the door and ask.

Other than that, nope... not going to go through the end of last year again. The local television station did a story on our lights and were suppose to leave out our name, address, town, website or anything else that would get people here... and that failed miserably.

I have to admit... I like the way I'm feeling about the lights this year because of it. I don't have a deadline... I'm not worried about "having" to get anything going. The kids and I did 3 or 4 hours of lights yesterday... then went to dinner. The wife and son helped me out for an hour tonight getting half the lights hung on the megatree and now we're just hanging out.

Heh... it's strange... I feel human during Christmas Light Madness for the first time in four years. :D

Good luck with your lights and plan... I hope it works out well for you!

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Another way get a balance with your neighbours is to run the display from Thursday to Sunday and give them 3 days of peace. Only run the show for the 7 days the week before christmas, this way it show the neighbours your willing to compromise and give them a bit of a break

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I think people would get bored if the display was static after a few minutes.

If it was me I would cut out the animation until that traffic died down and only run it when I wanted.

Good luck...

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rwertz wrote:

So when my neighbor threatened to call the little home town paper (circulation ~3,000) I wasn't worried.

At least one of your neighbors has no one to blame but himself!
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This is my first year running a show. My friend told me before I started to not inform any kind of media. I wont even post on facebook for fear of "publicity". Thus far, I have only told friends and family. I also have a voiceover that will be in my show stating, you can tell family and friends, but please do not inform the media. Will see how it goes. Would really hate to have to shut off the show. Good luck to you, and hope all works out.

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Just a thought. You could keep the show at 2 or 3 songs. Then change them to 2 or 3 different songs for the next night.
It would keep the cars moving and not knowing what songs will be played, would give folks a reason to come back.

Again, it's just a thought. If you are like many of us, you've probably spent a pretty penny on your display. I wouldn't ask any of my neighbors to give up their hobbies.

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David Rise wrote:

Just a thought. You could keep the show at 2 or 3 songs. Then change them to 2 or 3 different songs for the next night.
It would keep the cars moving and not knowing what songs will be played, would give folks a reason to come back.

Again, it's just a thought. If you are like many of us, you've probably spent a pretty penny on your display. I wouldn't ask any of my neighbors to give up their hobbies.

Most of my neighbors seem to be pretty cool. They've been asking what new thing I'm doing this year, and a couple of them gave me lights last year!
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Maybe point your visitors to other light shows in the area. If they're driving hours there has to be more than one show in that radius. But you are in Texas so you never know.

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Well, I love my lights and if my neighbors don't care for my display they will just have to get over it. Sorry if that sounds mean, but my lights will be on until I decide not to do a show. Guess I am mean! :shock:

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Since I wasn't able to get a transmitter this year, got an extra controller instead, I'm doing the same thing I did last year. I played three songs on the 1/2 hour on the weekends, and only for friends during the week. This way we didn't get sick of the music cranking.

Since I don't have a transmitter, the visitors will get cold with their windows down to hear the music :P

When I have my neighbors over for the first show, I'll tell them to not talk to the media.

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Donny M. Carter wrote:

Well, I love my lights and if my neighbors don't care for my display they will just have to get over it. Sorry if that sounds mean, but my lights will be on until I decide not to do a show. Guess I am mean! :shock:


You're such a Grinch...lol:)
I like your fan type thing (kinda like firesticks I guess) over on the left. Thats a nice and different display item. 11 channels?
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Well chances are I won't be in the same place next year(2012) and will be moving either into a "gated" 55+ community with a live security guard. If folks don't have an appointment or don't know how to contact me, they won't get in to see the display.

Or we may go with the non-gated community that's closer to where we currently live in an apartment.

However, apartment management wants to contact the media because they think it will be good for getting future residents in here, they just don't realize what may happen if they publicize this by calling all the TV Stations and newspapers in our area. I've tried to warn them that by doing so, the complex may not be able to handle the flow of traffic in/out of here, especially since I live in the back and the road into my area only has one way in and out(dead end), and it's almost not wide enough for two way traffic.

So where I'm at currently would be a nightmare just waiting to happen if the complex management gets the media involved!

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Donny M. Carter wrote:

Well, I love my lights and if my neighbors don't care for my display they will just have to get over it. Sorry if that sounds mean, but my lights will be on until I decide not to do a show. Guess I am mean! :shock:


I'm with ya Don. If my neighbors don't like it. I'll put up more lights next year and add security cameras and an electric fence.

It's only my first year and I had a blast sequencing and planning my show all year long. Been waiting all year to see the live show.
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Orville wrote:

Well chances are I won't be in the same place next year(2012) and will be moving either into a "gated" 55+ community with a live security guard. If folks don't have an appointment or don't know how to contact me, they won't get in to see the display.

Or we may go with the non-gated community that's closer to where we currently live in an apartment.

However, apartment management wants to contact the media because they think it will be good for getting future residents in here, they just don't realize what may happen if they publicize this by calling all the TV Stations and newspapers in our area. I've tried to warn them that by doing so, the complex may not be able to handle the flow of traffic in/out of here, especially since I live in the back and the road into my area only has one way in and out(dead end), and it's almost not wide enough for two way traffic.

So where I'm at currently would be a nightmare just waiting to happen if the complex management gets the media involved!

It could definitely backfire for the management. I don't foresee many people wanting to move into a complex that has a mile of traffic every Christmas season (the visitors won't know you are moving next year). Plus I could see that some current tenants might expedite their plans to move due to it. So next year he could end up with more empty units and no Christmas show to top it off.
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All but one of my neighbor's love it - I just added lights to one of my neighbor's houses yesterday (still have to ask the other guy).

I guess I just don't get the traffic like you guys do. There was once last year I couldn't get in my driveway at night, so I drove around the block once and was then able to get in.

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i live on the street a block from christmas on the pecos people come from all over the world to see the river shows and i take serious heat frome the city. for traffic issues in front of the house. but on the other end of the spectrum i enjoy doing this and most people enjoy the show.so bahumbug let the traffic jams begin.now wheres my b.b gun to shoot out that dastily street light.:cool:

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jstorms wrote:

This is my 2nd year. Last year I was worried that no one would come so I "got the word out" and did a really good job. They came in droves. People drove from hours away, sat in line for over an hour, that often stretched a half mile. I *LIKE* Christmas lights, but I wouldn't do this, and I didn't think anyone would.

This is my 2nd year and now that the neighbors see me putting put lights they are like, "Yeah, we need to talk..."

So I step back and ask myself, "What do I really want out of this?"

1. Do a really cool/fun/wow-factor light show for me and my family.
2. " for friends and neighbors.
3. Don't destroy the Christmas holiday for me and the neighborhood. Yeah, it's no so much fun only being able to do one song to avoid the cars being stacked up for 1/2 mile.

...But I have a really good solution. Just don't do a show.

So I do the lights statically, and then every so often, almost sporadically, without warning kickoff 1-4 musical sequences and then back to static. People won't be able to predict when the musical sequences will be, so they won't queue up.

The effect is I'll lose some repeat lookers (that needs to happen anyway), my family gets to enjoy the lights (anytime we want), and we keep the traffic down.

Means my scheduler is going to be pretty complicated this year. Might have to do some scripting to automatically generate this file. Anybody have some cool tips on creating mini shows that kick off randomly?


Kind of sad, I was looking at your website last night and looks like it was a heck of a show.
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Guest Don Gillespie
jstorms wrote:
This is my 2nd year. Last year I was worried that no one would come so I "got the word out" and did a really good job. They came in droves. People drove from hours away, sat in line for over an hour, that often stretched a half mile. I *LIKE* Christmas lights, but I wouldn't do this, and I didn't think anyone would.

This is my 2nd year and now that the neighbors see me putting put lights they are like, "Yeah, we need to talk..."

So I step back and ask myself, "What do I really want out of this?"

1. Do a really cool/fun/wow-factor light show for me and my family.
2. " for friends and neighbors.
3. Don't destroy the Christmas holiday for me and the neighborhood. Yeah, it's no so much fun only being able to do one song to avoid the cars being stacked up for 1/2 mile.

...But I have a really good solution. Just don't do a show.

So I do the lights statically, and then every so often, almost sporadically, without warning kickoff 1-4 musical sequences and then back to static. People won't be able to predict when the musical sequences will be, so they won't queue up.

The effect is I'll lose some repeat lookers (that needs to happen anyway), my family gets to enjoy the lights (anytime we want), and we keep the traffic down.

Means my scheduler is going to be pretty complicated this year. Might have to do some scripting to automatically generate this file. Anybody have some cool tips on creating mini shows that kick off randomly?





Ask yourself two questions, do you and your family love the display? question number 2 are you really close with your neighbors?

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second question then do your display, neighbors are nice people but can be a pain in the a$$, if they don't like the display they don't have to watch it, the way I look at life is we are only here for so long, so we might as well do what we enjoy, if that means doing a Christmas display then go ahead, if your neighbors told you they didn't like the car you drive are you going to buy a new one? do not let them intimidate you, they don't own the street and you never mentioned anything about city bylaws saying you can't do a display, why should you suffer because an Ebineezor Scrouge doesn't like Christmas.
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