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Celebrating Christmas Lights: From Local Legends to Global Icons

What do Oxford Street in London’s West End, Salerno in Italy and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn have in common?

If you’ve answered this question correctly, you’re clearly a fan of festive cheer.

These locations are renowned for their spectacular Christmas lights displays.

Over 1,700 snowflake decorations and 750,000 LED lightbulbs illuminate Oxford Street.

The Luci d’Artista festival in Salerno, running from early December to the end of January, features stunning light installations by talented artists.

Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, known as one of the most Christmassy places in New York, sees dozens of homes transformed with extravagant Christmas decorations, including life-sized Santas, sleighs and snowmen.

However, the Christmas lights phenomenon isn’t just about showmanship.

It’s often a means to support local charities and community groups.

Take, for example, the story of Dave Edwards from the Hertfordshire village of Croxley Green, affectionately known as Mr Christmas.

Dave, who passed away in 2021, began his light display with his wife 44 years ago as a friendly competition with a neighbour.

Over the years, this became a local tourist attraction, with celebrities turning on the lights at his modest semi-detached home, which was transformed into a Winter Wonderland for six weeks each year.

These lights raised an average of £5,000 annually, benefiting local and national charities.

In 2020, when Dave’s health declined, and his family announced the last display, the village community came together, creating their own displays in his honour.

During the final switch-off, his daughter Sharon encouraged locals to continue lighting up their neighbourhood in her parents’ memory, keeping the spirit of Christmas alive.

Over to you

Which house or street in our area hosts your favourite Christmas lights? Drop us a message to let us know. On behalf of all at Chamberlains, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

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