Internet Backs Man Who Says He Refused to Take Down Christmas Lights Despite HOA Complaint

A Redditor, known on the platform only as u/Alternate_chaos5150, has gone viral after posting in the popular "Am I the A**hole" forum, detailing how they refused to take their Christmas lights down after a complaint from the homeowners association.

The post has received more than 18,000 votes and 2,200 comments since it was posted less than 24 hours ago.

The Redditor explained that although there is an HOA for the surrounding area, they were there before any of the neighborhood was built. Redditor u/Alternate_chaos5150 wrote that a real estate attorney has verified that they are not a member of the HOA.

They wrote that the HOA for the surrounding neighborhood has a rule about how many lights can be placed outside a home and the earliest time they can be put up. User u/Alternate_chaos5150 added that a woman came to their home on November 30 and told them their lights were "against the policy" and that they had too many lights up.

The post also explained that the Redditor has dealt with the same woman every time the HOA has gotten upset with them.

"I told her that we been over this before that I am in no way beholden to their policies and don't care," the Redditor wrote in reference to the woman from the HOA. "I told her out of respect to the people in the neighborhood I did like that I wasn't going to go full Clark Griswold on my house but that my nieces and nephews loved lights so I would be putting up a fair amount."

In the 1989 Christmas classic National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, covered his suburban home in more than 25,000 twinkling lights. However, when the lights were finally turned on, they caused a citywide power outage and outraged the neighbors.

The Redditor also wrote that they told the woman from the HOA that they didn't care about the rules and that once they finished putting the lights up on November 30 they would turn them on and leave them on until Christmas.

"She told me that me breaking the rules upset other members and that I should respect their rules even if I don't follow them because I technically live in the neighborhood," u/Alternate_chaos5150 wrote. "She offered me a flyer which apparently had their rules for lights. I tossed it in the trash and told her to just get off my property. I probably could've entertained some of what she asked but I've just had enough of them."

More than 2,200 users felt compelled to comment on u/Alternate_chaos5150's story and agreed that people need to stop trying to ruin Christmas for others and that their rules shouldn't apply to the Redditor's home.

"I'm so tired of unhappy people trying to ruin Christmas for others. Go Griswold my dude... advertise it..." one user commented. "I guarantee you will bring way more cheer and happiness than you will upset people. Your neighbors kids probably love the lights too!"

Others commented on various ideas to annoy the HOA even further, including large inflatables, loud music and additional lights.

"Make sure you leave them up at least a week after their imposed deadline then leave just one strand up for several weeks after that just to remind them you could keep those lights up all year if you wanted," one person suggested.

Christmas lights on house
A Redditor went viral after they explained that they refused to remove their Christmas decorations after a woman from the HOA asked them to. Many in the comments agreed that the Redditor should ignore the request and even put up more lights. Not an image of the actual home involved. Bob Berg/Getty Image

Even though many were calling out the HOA for trying to ruin the Christmas spirit, a recent survey by HomeAdvisor showed more than one in five people said neighbors leaving their decorations up for too long had a negative impact on how they viewed them.

The survey, which included 1,022 people, showed that leaving Christmas decorations up too long after the holiday actually bothered people more than their neighbors putting up decorations early.

HomeAdvisor suggested the most "tasteful" timing for Christmas decor is no more than 24 days before Christmas and no later than nine days after the holiday.

"My neighbors' bother me," one comment read on the post. "They shine through my living room clerestory windows [mostly the spots on the 8 foot snowman]. Houses are like eight feet apart in my neighborhood. I just deal though."

"Y T A [you're the a**hole] for doing Christmas lights even one day before December, I hate that s**t," another person wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/Alternate_chaos5150 for comment.