A Willoughby household had the RCMP called on them because their holiday display was too bright and loud. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Langley Advance Times)

A Willoughby household had the RCMP called on them because their holiday display was too bright and loud. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Langley Advance Times)

Flashing decor and holiday tunes a source of Bah Humbug for anonymous neighbour

Langley RCMP were called Saturday night to deal with a Christmas display complaint in Willoughby

Carol Le’s neighbours would likely agree that the holiday display in her front yard is among the largest and loudest in Yorkson-Willoughby – well, most of her neighbours that is.

With a speaker playing Christmas tunes, flashing strobe lights, glowing candy canes, and cute characters – it’s a hard house to ignore. People have been flocking from all over Langley just to see it, including the RCMP this past Saturday night.

“We usually have them [the display] on Dec. 1, but we were late this year and didn’t have them going until Dec. 9. The timer starts the lights between 4 and 4:30 p.m. and shuts everything off between 9 and 10 p.m,” Le explained.

The neighbourhood was in celebratory spirits on Saturday evening, with residents coming and going and festivities apparently spreading out into the streets.

“Everyone was having a party so we figured we’d leave the lights going past 10,” she said.

At 10:45, there was a knock on the door.

“Our daughter answered and was very confused. The RCMP were very polite and told us there had been a complaint,” she recalled. “They asked us to shut everything off but did say that they liked our lights.”

Le thought that was the end of it, but the next morning, she received an anonymous handwritten Christmas card in the mail.

“It started with ‘to our festive neighbours’ and basically told us are festivities are not appreciated and that we need to tone it down,” Le said.

Le and her family have lived in the house for 10 years and have been putting up decorations for at least five.

“Our neighbours to the left and right have been supportive and we talked to the people across the street,” she noted. “Directly across from us in no one – it’s an empty lot, and when you walk across the street, you can’t hear the music. So I’m not sure who we are bothering.”

Le did say that the lights and music are controlled by a timer which did malfunction one night and played until 11:30 p.m. Once she noticed it was still going, Le shut off the display immediately.

“We’re trying to have Christmas spirit… now I feel like I’m in a Christmas movie,” Le laughed.

The fact that someone did not appreciate her festive efforts is not lost on Le either. She has shut the display down for the past two days, saying the lights will be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that’s all.

“We feel awful that we’ve caused someone so much distress – upset to this point. It didn’t make us feel well,” Le said.

On Monday morning, Le wrote a post on the Yorkson-Willoughby Neighborhood Facebook page to discuss the issue and explain why the display was no longer on.

One-hundred and fifty comments expressing their joy for Le’s work and disappointment that the house wouln’t be fully activated immediately appeared on the post.

“We live across the from the pirate house,” she said, referring to a notorious home that goes all out for Halloween. “So I don’t know why there’s a problem with ours.”

She said the display took three days – eight hours of work each day – to put up the decor.

“We plan to continue next year. It’s here for people to enjoy and make them smile,” Le assured. “Kids like it and it’s nice to have such an outrageous house.”

The family still doesn’t know who sent the card or called the RCMP, but Le said she would be happy to speak to whoever did in order to set things right for next Christmas.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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