We need more Christmas spirit than ever this year! But one mum is getting the grinch treatment from her neighbours after they yelled at her to turn off her Christmas lights.

While dazzling Christmas light streets are dimmed this year due to COVID-restrictions, many families are bringing their own joy by going all out on their festive decor.

One NSW mum has shared on the Christmas Mums Australia facebook group that she was really excited to display Christmas lights for the very first time this year…only to be verbally attacked by a neighbour demanding that she turn them off.

The Grinch Next Door

“Anyone else have Grinchy neighbours they have to deal with?,” the mum asked.

She then continues to explain her story:

“It’s our first year of having lights outside….and only 2nd night of having them on. They’re on a timer to turn off at 10:30pm.”

“Anyways, I was laying in bed watching a movie and heard the neighbour yelling out from her balcony (right next to our bedroom) to tell us to turn the lights off….checked my phone and it was 10:06pm. Mind you, the rest of the street still have theirs on.”

“We honestly don’t even have many. Just the one set. I mean it’s 70m long, but still!”

The mum ended the post with a cheeky comment:

“After I drop the kids off at school in the morning, guess who is going to buy more lights?”

christmas lights
The mum shared a photo of the offending Christmas lights Pic Via Facebook

So Rude!

The post has been liked over 560 times and the comments were flying.

Most people were disgusted by the neighbour’s demand for a Christmas lights curfew.

“How rude. I’d have told him to go jump in the lake.”

“Tell em to shut up seriously. If they want to screw over the whole street they can try and fail to get EVERYONES off
I don’t tolerate idiots or grinchs. No ruining my fun.”

Make Them Even Brighter

Many offered creative comebacks to the grumbling neighbour.

“Go and buy heaps tomorrow! Let it shine bright!”

“Buy the kids a recorder for Christmas!”

“Maybe write grinch with lights on the front fence with an arrow towards their house in flashing lights, I’d add jingle bells on repeat for good measure.”

“Don’t even worry about Christmas lights. Just get a flood light and shine it straight onto her house.”

“Forget more lights- instead start playing Christmas songs as loud as you can.”

“Get Xmas music to play and make the lights flash on and off to the music lol”

“Please absolutely light the street up and set the timers longer!”

Let’s Look At It From Both Sides Of The Street

There were a few who said that turning the lights off at 10pm was reasonable:

“I’m gonna be the odd one out and say I don’t think it’s unreasonable for her to ask you to turn them off at 10pm. I can’t sleep with light in my room, and as much as I love Christmas lights… I don’t want them keeping me or my kid awake,” said one.

“Also some people have medical issues. I get migraines from them, and some people are very sensitive to them. I love my lights, but I wouldn’t have them in a location where it shines into a bedroom. I have enough trouble sleeping,” said another.

The mum admitted that there was probably more to the story than just the Christmas lights.
“They have lights too, but we’ve always had issues with them from the day we moved in,” she said.

Christmas Lights Rules

So what are the official rules around Christmas lights.

According to the ABC, “neighbours can complain to your local council if your lights are a nuisance.” This would include interrupting their sleep or affecting their privacy.

If a complaint is made, the local council will investigate the situation and the impact on neighbours.

To avoid being a nuisance, experts suggest:

  • Positioning your lights as far away as possible from sensitive areas in your neighbours’ homes.
  • Directing your lights downwards so they don’t shine into your neighbours’ windows.
  • Turning your lights off when you aren’t using them.

Do you have Christmas lights at your place? What time do you switch them on or off? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I can kinda see this from both sides.
    Its only once a year and for a short time so some tolerence is needed. Perhaps they didnt know that the lights would go out at 10.30 and perhaps they thought that they would be on all night. Perhaps the lights shone right into their bedroom.
    I have to get up at 5 to go to work so Im in bed by 9 and I need my room to be dark for me to fall asleep. Some times my neighbour sits outside with the outside lights on and she chats on her phone. She laughs super loud and will keep me awake. Ive not said anything as it doesnt happen all the time but im always pleased when she goes inside and turns off the lights.


  • I suppose it takes all types to make up the world, doesn’t it?!


  • We have a court near to us and every house has lights on – so beautiful to see the lights down this court. A neighbour and I walked around the court a few days before Christmas at midnight and the lights were all still on. No complaints from anyone. So pretty and not for long.


  • Would she complain about a council street light.
    It’s a festive month and only a few short weeks of having wonderful lights that brighten up a lot of people’s lives.


  • We have 2 houses on our street.My neighbour has upstairs house.They leave their Christmas lights until morning.


  • I have 2 neighbours across the road and they both have their houses lit up and probably seen from space. I have block out curtains and also an eye mask when I need to use it. To me my neighbours brighten our lives for a couple of weeks. I don’t think that 10:30 is too late to have your lights on either.


  • I think turning them off at 10.30pm is fair enough – even if they were bothering me, I wouldn’t complain if they were shut off around then. It’s only for a couple of weeks, really.


  • Buy them an eye mask. I sleep with one every night. No light comes through.


  • I have never heard of light complaints- in all honesty if it bothers you buy heavy blinds and curtains. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a council that would follow up on such a complaint and its only for a few weeks- get over it!


  • We only have a few in our courtyard. We live in a unit and are not allowed to put anything in the common areas out the front.
    Personally I love lights. I don’t have a problem with lights being on however long. I don’t, however, like the musical stuff. I’ve been neighbours with loud displays before and that drives me twisty. Hearing the same Christmas songs/music over and over and over and…you get the idea. Love the lights, lose the music.


  • We don’t have any outside but I love looking at the houses that do up the street. We have some inside on a timer to go off at 10.30pm. There may be a deeper reason why the neighbour is not happy.


  • Some neighbours are very intolerant, we have one of those


  • 10:30 is a reasonable time, they should suck it up and get over it or do the polite thing instead of chucking a fit and yelling at them, go over talk like a normal person and ask if they can turn them off at 10


  • I’m on the turn them off at 10pm bandwagon as I can’t sleep with them on. I have a neighbour whose lights cycle through different rates of flashing, and whilst they don’t shine into my window directly they do reflect in the windows of the house opposite ours. My neighbours are really good though and realised their lights might be a bit much so do restrict them. If the person complaining has a genuine complaint that they are visible in their windows this woman has no right to complain. If the neighbour is complaining just because they have issues with each other then that’s a different thing.


  • Sometimes when we do things we do not realise or take into account how it impacts others. People say there only lights, but imagine if the neighbour was doing something that impacted you. How would you feel?


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