Florida couple clashes with city over immense Christmas light display
Christmas and lights pretty much go hand in hand.
But while most families tend to stop after putting up and decorating their Christmas trees, Mr Mark Hyatt and his wife Kathy make sure they go all out.
Every year, the couple from Plantation in the US state of Florida spend several months transforming their home into the Hyatt Extreme Christmas – a massive light display featuring an wide array of decorations from Santa Clauses to reindeer as well as snowmen and cartoon characters.
It even has a working mini-Ferris wheel and is lit by more than 200,000 lights.
Above all, the light show is free entry, with the Hyatts asking visitors to simply support one of the three charity movements listed on their website.
While the grandiose display of light attracts hundreds of visitors to the Hyatts' property each year, some of their neighbours and city officials want the lights to be switched off – for good.
According to some unhappy residents, the crowds litter their properties and force them to flee their homes.
One of them, Mr Rafael Imbert, 65, told Reuters that the neighbourhood was "a war zone, all because of the ego of that guy."
The city, which has slapped the Hyatts with numerous fines, deems the Hyatt Extreme Christmas to be a public nuisance and is suing the homeowners in a bid to shut them down.
The Hyatts, however, insist that few of their neighbours complain about the disturbance are fighting the lawsuit, which will be heard in court in April.
Their lawyer, Mr James Helf, told Reuters: "They believe it engenders goodwill and a bond between the community."
For the children
According to Reuters, Mr Hyatt's bright habit was inspired by his Catholic parents.
The mortgage banker, together with his wife and two children, begins the planning phase for the Hyatt Extreme Christmas in July before decorating commences in October.
They then switch on the lights after Thanksgiving in November.
Unsurprisingly, the massive number of lights sees the Hyatts chalk up a massive electrical bill which could hit up to US$1,500 ($2,108) a month, although a switch to LED lights has nearly cut their power consumption by half.
Despite all the work and trouble faced by the family, the Hyatts keep on doing what they do for the children.
My Hyatt told Reuters: "I have kids who came here when they were little and now are coming back with their own kid. That's the coolest thing of all."
Sources: Reuters, Hyatt Extreme Christmas