This is one of those years when we can really use a “little Christmas!”

Granted, the tragedy of the past week has practically made it impossible to think of the arrival of Christmas. Add to that, the devastation Sandy left in its wake, and you have the makings of a holiday season that takes a back seat to these other real life concerns.

But I’m sure you look for some bright spots…and there are no better bright spots than a short drive away.

Where do you find the homes with the most elaborate Christmas decorations that help put you in the holiday mood, and try to forget some of the craziness?

For instance, there’s one in Wall, where one family’s light show raised $6,100 in its first weekend.

According to this:

Thousands of synchronized lights, strobes, lasers, fog machines and 20-foot-high flames.

This was not the scene from a heavy metal concert, but rather the annual Christmas Light Show on Wooley Road.

“This is kind of a different show than others. It’s more than just Christmas ligjts, it’s more like going to a rock show,” show founder Dan Brateris told last week.

For the past seven years, the light show has welcomed thousands of spectators, for free, and has raised thousands in donations for local causes.
“We’re very pleased with how things turned out and how smoothly everything went off,” Brateris said Monday night. “We heard great things as we walked through the audience. People were just excited about it, and were very supportive and complimentary.”

After watching the show on Friday night, Brick Township resident Nancy Siegel described the show to as a “sensory explosion.”
“It was fabulous,” said Ann Milton, of Wall Township. “It couldn’t have been any better.”

Check out the video of the light show here:

In just two nights last weekend, Brateris said, the event raised $6,100 in donations and there is still one more night of shows left before Christmas.
Brateris said those donations will help Challenge Youth Sports – a local charity that provides recreational opportunities for physically challenged children – fund repairs to homes of physically challenged children that were damaged in Hurricane Sandy.

And while the show’s first two nights were a success, Brateris said organizers expect the last two shows – which are scheduled for 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23 – to draw the biggest crowds.

And that’s not the only one!

According to this:

Mine Hill mayor's 35,000 Christmas lights help families in need.

Imagine 35,000 Christmas lights. Then, when your third eye recovers, ponder music blasting from nearby speakers, the lights blinking and changing colors to the rhythm.

There might not be much to see in Mine Hill…, but for the past five years, Mayor Sam Morris' house has been a Christmas attraction, pulling in visitors from across the county.

And that's not all. While Morris likes to literally brighten up the holidays, he uses the lights as a vehicle to collect donations for Mine Hill's food pantry, brightening the smiles of families in need in the township.

Last year, Morris' home at 3 Indian Falls Road collected more than $2,700, which was distributed to families as grocery store gift cards worth $20 and $50. He's hoping for even more donations this year.

Morris turns on his lights from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays. They stay on until about 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

"It's a good blend of kid (attractions), a lot of classic songs," the first-year mayor said. "But then there's stuff for the adults."

Morris said he's been "a little bit nuts" about Christmas lights since high school. So nuts, in fact, that his lights aren't just for show. They are a show — approximately 50-minute sets featuring 20 songs, all choreographed.

"If you're standing out there, and you're close to the lights, it really just grabs your eyes," he said.

The kind of thing we could all use a little of as 2012 winds down.

And I’m sure these aren’t the only ones.

Where do you find the nicest Christmas displays?
Feel free to share!