In the memorable Christmas movie, Chevy Chase's overzealous character puts up so many lights, the whole neighborhood blacks out.
Today, many real-life decorators appear to be taking a cue from the Griswolds to create their own extreme Christmas displays – with or without the risk of a massive power outage.
Take the Faucher Family from Delaware, for example.
According to a recent news report from Gizmodo.com, this family uses one million Christmas lights for their exterior home décor each season, and they've been doing so for the past 25 years.
House Logic estimates that to light up 1,000,000 bulbs for a month straight, it costs the Faucher Family more than $82,000 in electricity. Take that, Clark Griswold.
Another house from Round Rock, Texas, also made headlines this holiday for boasting a display of 14,360 LED lights powered by extension cords stretching more than one-third of a mile.
The elaborate set-up has the LEDs synchronized to switch on and off to the "Wizards of Winter" song.
Schomisch was busted for possession of pot a few days ago and when police raided his home, they found a giant marijuana plant in his living room, fully adorned with Christmas lights and ornaments. Supposedly, the stoner planned on even putting presents under it come Christmas.
Needless to say, wacky – and often tacky – Christmas displays are inescapable this time of year, and no one knows that better than Matt Burgess, creator of TackyLightTour.com, a website that pinpoints exactly which neighborhoods around the nation have the craziest lights.
Burgess, 30, told AOL News that the abundantly decorated houses in Richmond, Va., take the cake – hands down – because tacky lights are synonymous with the city.
"Nothing compares to Richmond. It's the biggest and the best in terms of Christmas lights. People there really go over-the-top with their displays and they've been doing so for decades. It's become a holiday tourist attraction," explained Burgess.
The so-called "Tacky Light Tour" of Richmond is what actually inspired Burgess to create his website. He grew up in the area and remembers mapping out the route with his family each Christmas so they could visit the most daring displays.
Years later, Burgess assured that the quality of the popular "Tacky Light Tour" has not diminished, with shocking décor at every turn and local companies even offering limo tours to the brightest houses.
He said today's tackiest trends include "people plugging in as much stuff as possible" on their lawns and synching up their lights to flicker along to Christmas music.
He said inflatables – like your typical giant Santa Claus, snowman or reindeer – are also very popular among serious decorators, though it's still all about the lights, first and foremost.
"To even make it on our website as a worthy `Tacky Light Tour' stop, you have to have a minimum of 10,000 lights in your display. Other than that, decorating is an art form. Some people scatter inflatables and other stuff around randomly, and others are purists who create every prop by hand. A display really reflects the family living inside the house," said Burgess.
And, in many cases, it also reflects a really high electric bill.
"A lot of the decorators who submit their houses to our website have electric bills in the four-digit range during the holiday months. I've heard of guys with $3,000 electric bills, all the way to a guy who spent $10,000 to turn on his Christmas lights all season. No expense is spared when tacky lights are concerned," Burgess said with a laugh.
Besides copious amounts of bulbs, Burgess said you might have a tacky Christmas display if "there's a character other than Baby Jesus in your outdoor Nativity scene."
You'd be surprised at how many R2-D2 and Disney movie figurines wind up in the manger.
Another man who's seen it all in the world of crazy Christmas displays is Matt Phillips, who runs UglyChristmasLights.com.
He told AOL News that the weirdest decoration submissions he's ever gotten on his website include a Jurassic Christmas scene featuring an "eight-foot-tall dinosaur with a Santa hat" and a bizarre, inexplicable display that simply had the word "DOG" written in lights on someone's lawn.
"I have no idea what that one was about. Usually we just get a lot of pictures of houses with endless inflatables on the lawn. It's like people decorate just to decorate, no matter how much crap they have. In some cases, you can't even see the house behind all the junk," said Phillips. "You really have to wonder. A lot of people crossed the line 15 inflatables ago."
Phillips, who's been tracking tacky Christmas lights since 2002, said some of his favorite awful displays from this year include a house with a "plastic brigade" of holiday figurines lined up perfectly on someone's yard, as if they were charging at onlookers.
He also recently got wind of a front yard featuring a weird light-up elephant among the standard Christmas décor.
"NOTHING says Christmas like an elephant," he added.
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