During the Christmas season, as the halls are decked, the chestnuts roasted, the boar’s head bedecked with bays and rose-ma-ry, there comes a moment when you look around at your home. Formally quiet and reserved, now filled with colourful decorations, glitter, trees and Christmas lights. You look at the lights across your guttering, the lights on your lawn, the lights on you and you ask yourself: how many lights make it Christmas?
The answer is 3.6 million. You need at least 3.6 million Christmas lights to make it Christmas. And this is something the folks at Clifton Mill understood.
The mill, built in 1802, was purchased by the Satariano family in 1987 and they spent the next year decorating with a paltry 100,000 lights. In 1988, when they first switched the lights on, they gazed upon these lights and thought it was kind of Christmassy. But 100,000 lights was only as Christmassy as an elf’s crotch. They needed to go bigger.
As well as the display expanding to a staggering 3.6 million lights, the Mill also offers a collection of Santa Clauses, a collection now exceeding 3,000.
The Santas (Santae?) range from adorable and kitchy to something that you’ve tried to repress for decades:
After you’ve tried to re-remove that memory you can amble around outside where an animatronic miniature village exists, capturing a wonderfully sweet 50s style American town:
Of course, it comes with a mini version of Clifton Mill, which presumably has a miniature version of the miniature version of the miniature town of it, resulting in infinite lights, so 3.6 million is severely underselling it.
And a miniature Charlie Kaufman getting off.
So Merry Christmas everyone, gather around, sing songs, eat food and be thankful you don’t have Clifton Mill’s electricity bill.