Photos and Video: Franklin Homes In The Holiday Spirit

Christmas Decorations 2013


When did this madness begin?

According to an undated article by Yale College student Brian Murray,

The modern American Christmas light tradition is perhaps the most visible way our culture has dealt with an increasingly technological and impersonal world. Drawing on traditions first brought to the United States by German immigrants in the nineteenth century as well as a host of scientific advancements that began with Edison’s electric light, Christmas lights represent a juxtaposition of ancient ritual and modern technology. In the twentieth century, Christmas light displays became popular in large part because of their ability to convey a small-town feel among strangers in an unfriendly metropolis. After World War II, the average American acquired the monetary and technological means to construct his or her ideal Christmas light show. Reeling from the trauma wrought by the war, people took advantage of these new resources to create increasingly fantastical light designs. As people flocked in droves to Disneyland to escape into a magical retreat that evoked friendly, small-town feelings, so too did they erect gleaming,secularized shrines at Christmas time as a testament to the legacy of a simpler time.

While the majority of township residents who decorate the outside of their homes were more restrained, a few do go all out in their designs. One even sets their lights to music.

Presented here is a slideshow of some of the more striking displays we saw on a recent tour of the villages, and some video of two homes whose owners must bring joy to the hearts of PSE&G.

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