Family Faces Bizarre Fine For Putting Up Christmas Lights Too Early
A family in Florida is facing a hefty fine for being over eager with setting up their Christmas lights.
This year, the Moffa family from Westchase, Florida, employed decorators to install their lights, however, because of slots being snapped up so quickly, they had to be put up on November 6.
The family’s local housing association has since decided to take on the role of Scrooge, threatening to fine the family $1,000 (£750) for putting the decorations up prematurely.
Michael Moffa told The Washington Post how the family had been ‘really looking forward’ to celebrating Christmas this year, after a difficult time during the pandemic. He explained that he had to get the lights done professionally because of working ‘long hours’ and according to Fox 13, the family had to even book the installation a year in advance.
Moffa told Fox 13:
If you take a look at the lights, it’s not egregious, right? And when they are on they actually look pretty cool and the kids enjoy it and it puts a smile on their face.
However, on November 8, the family were sent a notice by Westchase Community Association who informed them that the lights violated their rules. It stated that Thanksgiving Day was the earliest such festive lights were allowed to be put up.
The family were subsequently threatened a fine of $100 a day, rising up to $1,000 in total, if the lights weren’t adjusted to comply with rules and regulations.
Chelsea Moffa took to Facebook to share the housing association’s threat, and after the story was picked up by multiple outlets, the Queen of Christmas herself, singer Mariah Carey, even re-tweeted the post in support of the family.
She wrote: ‘My personal preference is to wait until after Thanksgiving but there’s no regulating festiveness!!!’
Chelsea said how ‘grateful’ she was that the issue had become viral, because she felt ‘like it has just brought everyone all over the country together’.
According to an attorney for the housing association, the issue was first sparked by a complaint from a neighbour. Furthermore, they explained how a vote must be held by the organisation before any fines could possibly be imposed.
Michael Moffa resolved to The Washington Post that even if the guidelines showed that the family had put the lights up ‘too early’ that he’s ‘not taking them down’.
He concluded, ‘Everything looks so nice and for them to be a Grinch like this, it’s just unheard of.’
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CreditsThe Mirror and 2 others
The Washington Post