How to Find the Best Christmas Lights in Your Area (And 5 Reasons Why You Should!)

The Best Christmas Lights in Your Area

It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least, that's the rumor. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, however, sometimes it's easy to let the little things slip through the cracks. The next thing you know, the holiday season is over and you didn't even get to do half the seasonal activities you planned to enjoy. That includes taking a drive to view the best local Christmas lights.

In one sense, this is one of the simplest tasks in the world to cross off your holiday checklist. You literally just need to get in the car and start driving around. Is it really that simple?Further, is there a way to make sure you don't miss out on seeing the very best displays? And why should you prioritize seeing the best Christmas light displays in your area, anyway?5 Reasons Why You Should Find the Best Christmas Lights in Your Area

Before you pile in the car and head out to view the Christmas lights, take some time first to consider why you should take the time to seek out the best displays in your area. 

1.  Setting the Holiday Mood

It's no secret that cheerful Christmas light displays can help you get in the mood to celebrate the holidays. But did you know there are actual, scientific reasons as to why this works?

Exposure to light and color can actually impact us at a biological level.

  • Decreasing depression scores
  • Increasing cognitive function
  • Balancing circadian rhythms

Best of all, light and color can help us combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depending on your personal live situation, this could be a very good reason to move an activity like this one to the top of the To Do List. While viewing the Christmas lights may sound like a small feature in your holiday celebrations, for some people, it can actually have a big impact. 

2. Engaging History

Christmas lights have a history that spans back to the holiday celebrations of the European Middle Ages.

People living without central heating in the 12th century were understandably unhappy when the sun went down and plunged them into the cold depths of night…Back during the winter of 1184 was the first recorded lighting of the Yule Log in Germany. The burning log was seen as a symbol of the sun's promise to return. (Gizmodo)

Later came Christmas trees, with actual lit candles tied to the branches; and with the invention of electric lights, the earliest displays such as we see today.

When you drive around your town viewing the best seasonal decorations, you're partaking in a storied holiday history worth celebrating. 

3. Getting Out of the House

As much as we love getting together with extended family members over the holiday season, it's no secret that these gatherings can sometimes lead to a bit of cabin fever. Once you've heard all Uncle Al's stories twice and he's looping back around and starting them all again for the third time, you're going to want an excuse to get everyone out of the house and into a few separate vehicles. (Perhaps Uncle Al will be in his own.)

Alternately, you may be spending the season alone. Rather than spending extended periods huddled by yourself on the couch binging Christmas movie marathons, you have a good reason to bundle up, shuffle to the car, and head out to see something fun and cheerful.

Whether you play Christmas music along the way, sing carols, or enjoy some midwinter quiet along the way is up to you. 

4. Managing FOMO

Who doesn't deal with some level of FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”)? Unfortunately, if you take an approach to view Christmas lights that have zero planning or strategy behind it, that's exactly what could wind up happening. By driving around in a haphazard, unplanned way, letting the route unfold as it wills, you could invest quite a bit of time in your Christmas light viewing and still not see the best houses in your area.

Let's be frank: the best houses are definitely worth seeing. Some neighborhood displays have even landed themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records, such as Tim Gay of Lagrangeville, NY, whose home display includes a whopping 687,000 blinking, multicolored lights. 

You wouldn't want to miss something like that!

5. The More Christmas Lights the Merrier

the best Christmas lights in a neighborhood
Christmas fantasy – trees and houses in lights on a beautiful snowy winter night.

If simply happening upon light displays as you drive to and from your daily events and activities cheers you up, imagine what a dedicated trip to see the best light displays in your area can do.

Spending an hour or two packed into a car with your friends, family members, or loved ones is just an added bonus at that point. 

How to Find the Best Local Christmas Lights in Your Local Area

Currently, the easiest way to find the best local Christmas light displays is with the Nextdoor Cheer Map:

The Nextdoor Holiday Cheer Map is an interactive local guide where you can let neighbors know if you will be decorating your home for the season, and see which neighbors in your neighborhood will be decorating theirs. Neighbors with holiday displays will be marked with a holiday light bulb icon on the Cheer Map. (Nextdoor)

By using Nexdoor's Cheer Map, you can quickly and easily navigate to the best light displays, saving your time and energy to pour into your holiday celebrations. 

If you have your own display to put on the map, you can do so quite easily by visiting the Cheer Map, clicking “Add Your Home” and following the prompts. 

By helping your neighbors find your display, you can ensure that everyone enjoys the merriest Christmas possible. 

Find the Best Christmas Lights in Your Area

Driving around to see Christmas lights is a wonderful tradition, one that embraces history and can have lasting benefits, particularly on emotions and mood. However, just hopping in your car and heading out with little to no forethought can lead to a less than optimum experience.

By taking time to log into the Nextdoor Cheer Map ahead of time, you can maximize your Christmas lights viewing and make sure you don't miss out on seeing the best displays