Seattle, Washington Family Forced To Take Down Christmas Light Display, Neighbors Said It Was Too Much

A Seattle family has taken down its annual Christmas display after complaints from neighbors that it brought too much light, noise, and traffic to his neighborhood, KOMO-TV (Seattle) is reporting.

Anthony Mish’s Seattle home got the nickname “Hawk House” because of his elaborate Christmas lights display that prominently featured his favorite football team, the Seattle Seahawks.

In case you’re wondering, that’s 175,000 lights, according to The Seattle Times, the vast majority of them LED’s, which are brighter and use less electricity than conventional Christmas lights. They also cost a fortune: a strand of 50 will set you back $11.99, so by my math that means that there’s about $43,000 worth of lights up there, assuming Mish bought them retail.

Mish says he counts Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as one of his idols (go figure). If you’re not familiar, a sub-plot in the movie involves the hapless homeowner covering every square inch of his home in bright lights, only to knock out his city’s power once he flips the switch.

The scene is played for laughs, of course, but for Mish, it was inspiration. As they say, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.

“I used to love that movie.”

Suitably inspired, Mish, who got his feet wet in the Christmas decorating game by helping his father design and build sets for Seattle’s downtown Christmas Dickens Victorian Village, decided to Griswold-up his home. He started, a few years ago, by covering just about every inch of exterior space of his house with lights. But it still wasn’t enough; it needed more, he joked to a friend. Something that commemorated his beloved Seattle Seahawks.

“My friend said, ‘No way you can do that,’ so I had to prove him wrong,”

Eventually, Mish happened upon a solution: a 14-by-35-foot Seahawk in LED lights on four panels. The addition to his already over-the-top display now included an homage to his favorite team, earning the home the name “the Hawk House.”

The Hawk House soon became the talk of the neighborhood, then of Seattle. People from miles around would come to see the house, inside and outside (Mish set up model railroad displays and other scenes to capture the spirit of Christmas inside the home as well). Mish estimates that at its peak, the Hawk House was bringing 100,000 visitors just to gawk at the outside, plus another 30,000 inside.

Mish also took donations from his visitors – toys, money, canned foods – which he would then donate to various charities.

Mish said that visitors to his home would often be overwhelmed by the magic of it all.

“Tons of people would cry and say, ‘Thank you for bringing back the holidays.'”

Unfortunately, Mish’s neighbors didn’t see things the same way. They complained of the bright and flashing lights being too distracting. They complained of visitors parking in their driveways to visit the house. They complained of the noise. They complained of the traffic. Mostly, they just complained.

Mish says he’d rather just pull the plug on the whole thing than be in a position where he’s at odds with his neighbors. And so now, the famed “Hawk House” is no more.

That doesn’t mean that Mish is done bringing holiday joy to the people of Seattle; he still intends to create an elaborate display and open it up to the public. He just needs to find a place to do it that’s not in a residential neighborhood. Right now, he says, he’s looking for space to rent and for a sponsor to help with the costs.

Do you think Mish’s “Hawk House” Christmas lights display was too overgearing for a residential neighborhood?

[Featured Image by vinbergv/Shutterstock]