Christmas lights are, at heart, about bringing brightness into the longest, coldest, darkest nights of the year. Some are inspired by Christian faith in the appearance of a new baby, the infant Jesus. Some are all about the joy to the world of schmaltz. Whether you’re moved by “Peace on Earth” or a holly jolly Christmas, below are nine must-see electric yuletide displays from Dorchester to Saugus’ incredible Lynn Fells Parkway that will warm your cold New England heart. (Click on any of the photos to see them larger.)
16 & 22 Lynn Fells Parkway, east of Rivers Lane, Saugus
The Amsden and the Guarino families, who share a driveway, are behind this show-stopping display—one of the many light extravaganzas along Lynn Fells Parkway in Saugus. This dual display includes a penguin popping out of an igloo, a manger scene, pink flamingos and a life-sized Santa riding in a sleigh pulled by a little red-nosed Rudolph. WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov spoke to the families in 2011.
401 Lynn Fells Parkway, just east of Donna Road, Saugus
Michael Conlon wishes visitors “Peace on Earth” at his Saugus home (pictured at the top of this post and immediately below), which includes a manger scene and (way in the back) a life-sized Santa, all unified by a tasteful blue and white palette.
7 Lynn Fells Parkway, east of Rivers Lane, Saugus
A manger scene, snowmen and a palm tree are just some of the decorations lighting up this neat yard.
5 Laurine Road, just east of Lynn Fells Parkway, Saugus
Ropes of pulsing lights illuminate bushes and a network of Christmas trees, snowflakes and snowmen.
Adams Street, just north of Victory Road, Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood
Hoa Nguyen and his father, Trong Nguyen, light up Boston’s Fields Corner neighborhood with an animated spectacle of electric snow, hovering angels, blinking Christmas trees and what seem to be LED fireworks.
Otis Street, just west of Cross Street, Somerville
“I’ve been doing it almost 30 years,” says John Ragno, who decorates three houses he owns here, two side by side, and one across the street. “I started off with a manger outside, a small manger on the porch. And it grew.” Read our full interview with Ragno here.
Bainbridge Street, just west of Rockwell Street, Malden
Over the past decade, Maryann Spinney and her daughter and son-in-law Evelyn and Mark Anzalone have lit up houses down the lane from each other on Malden’s Bainbridge Street. (They also put on a big show for Halloween.) Several neighbors have also gotten into the act, so that it’s become a whole glowing holiday neighborhood.
Washington Street just south of Gould Street, Melrose
Lights blink in synch with music, a giant live tree twinkles with lights and a life-sized Santa waves at this Melrose home.
“ZooLights” at the Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham
The Stone Zoo’s wooded paths are lit up for its annual “ZooLights” through Jan. 5. With a $7 admission, see a real lynx, owl and eagle; get your picture taken with a live reindeer; and visit Santa’s Castle for a sit down with the jolly old elf.
Follow Greg Cook on Twitter @AestheticResear.
This program aired on December 13, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.