Why do some people spend a small fortune decorating their home with Christmas lights? "Extravagant Christmas lights are part of a tradition that has been around in the UK for the last two decades," writes Tess Reidy in the British newspaper the Guardian.
In Queens, New York, retired firefighter Kevin Lynch covers his house and lawn with more than 300 giant plastic figures, 100 animated characters and 300,000 lights to entertain the masses. He even hired an electrician to install 30 outlets outside his house and on the roof, specifically to support his obsession.
Lynch told Daphne Sashin of CNN that the greatest part of his elaborate display is the people who come to see it. "The joy and the happiness it brings to little kids and adults is fantastic."
After 18 years of decorating, he has no plans to stop. "It's a tradition. If I don't put the lights up, I will have thousands of people ringing the bell thinking someone died."
It's exactly that kind of enthusiasm that Kirk Cameron applauds in this year's Yuletide cinematic hit "Saving Christmas." His film struck a nerve with movie-goers nationwide -- the movie had to be held over past its scheduled two-week run.
He applauds traditions that some Christians question. In San Francisco, vintage '50s and '60s elves, pixies and reindeer decorate Amalia Martinez's apartment.
"She and her fiance," writes Sashin, "have spent the past six years collecting dozens of classic Christmas decorations to dress up their abode, which they call 'Popville,' a reference to Andy Warhol's factory. The aluminum tree is illuminated by a bright rotating color wheel, and the big-eyed Blythe dolls get to have their very own tree."
In England, "for a brief period of December the A3, that great, dreary long road that goes from Portsmouth to London, becomes an intermittent bracelet of lights as people living on the busy road transform their houses into multicolored Christmas extravaganzas," writes Reidy. "Elsewhere, all over the country, suburban homes, discreet, grey and bleak for most of the year, suddenly stand out from the rest, with a facade of illuminations, Christmas messages, Santas and snowmen."
But in Pennsylvania, homeowners on Fairley Road in Ross Township complain that their neighbor, Bill Ansell, has taken the tradition too far.
He keeps up his lights year-round. However, he hates Christmas. His lights are designed to mock the season -- and annoy his neighbors.
“Any opportunity he has to make our life a hardship, he does,” resident Chris Hebda told ABC News' “20/20.”
“He's an angry person that's very unstable,” resident Pamela Heck told reporters Joseph Diaz and Alexa Valiente.
Ansell's display includes a beheaded choir, a Mickey Mouse hanging from a noose and a urinating Santa Claus that lights up at night.
Hebda complains that his family has had to stare at the unpleasant decorations for the past six years. Fairley Road is a unique cul-de-sac; a circular street with Ansell's house right in the middle, surrounded by six other homes. That makes it hard to avoid his handiwork.
“There was a Virgin Mary here, and he placed a knife through her head, right there on the edge of our driveway,” Chris's wife Joanne Hebda told “20/20.” “I thought it was a terroristic threat.”
To make matters worse, his neighbors said, Ansell also tacked up profane signs all over his house attacking the township and neighbors personally.
The worst sign, the neighbors said, included disparaging remarks about neighbor Tom White's late wife, posted the day after she died.
“Why would somebody even do that?”
One sign on Ansell's home may offer a clue as to why. It says, “This display is dedicated to Ross Township. Shame on you for destroying my display that brought so much joy and happiness to so many people.”
Years ago, Ansell's home was known for its lustrous lights and dazzling display that attracted many onlookers.
But one Thanksgiving, Ansell's neighbor Pamela Heck was so blinded by the lights that she asked him to turn them off while her family had dinner.
“It was very unpleasant between us after that,” Heck told “20/20.”
From that minor dispute grew a war, according to neighbors. At night, they say he blasts floodlights into their windows.
Ansell wouldn't speak to “20/20,” but two years ago, he told Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV, “I used to have a beautiful Christmas display, they hated it. This is my display now. I don't think it's against the law to exercise your right to have your own display.”
In August 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, upheld a court order requiring Bill Ansell to clean up his yard and take down the vulgar signs.
To date, Ansell has not complied and township officials won’t say if and how they will enforce the order.
The Hebdas said they have repeatedly complained to the township Board of Commissioners, but so far haven't seen anything done. The lack of action is what frustrates the neighbors most.
For years, Ross Township has fined Ansell for the debris and signs on his property. But, he has not paid any of those citations. There is currently a 6-month-old court order demanding that he clean up his yard, which he has also ignored.
The local government won't say how it will specifically enforce the rules, and the Hebdas aren't waiting around to find out and will be renting their home out for much less than it should be.
“It's a move for, you know, for our lives ... to have normalcy again,” Joanne Hebda said.
“I had to cash in my retirement. There's no hope here in some ways, and there's no one to help us,” said Chris Hebda.