Christmas is right around the corner, and for many people, it is their favorite time of year. But some Florida residents are suddenly feeling more Grinch like with the recent news that has trickled down the pipeline. One HOA (homeowners’ association) has implemented some very harsh rules about just how early can you put up Christmas lights in Florida, with one homeowner in particular facing a fine for putting up their Christmas lights somewhat prematurely.
It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like…Fines
The Moffa family from Westchase, Florida, make no attempt to hide their love for Christmas. As soon as the days get shorter and the air gets colder, they put their Christmas lights up. In this case, it was November 6th. While some people may find that a little too early, everyone celebrates the holidays differently, and people are allowed to enjoy things as long as they don’t hamper anyone else’s life.
But the local homeowners’ association felt very differently than the Moffa family and they made their stance quite clear. The Moffa family was sent a letter that shocked them, with some fine print that wasn’t quite the Christmas bonus they had in mind for this year.
Pay to Play
The letter, in summarization stated that their lights were put up too early. They were also informed that failing to take the lights down would result in the fine of $100 a day until Thanksgiving, which the Moffas’ HOA says is the proper time to put up seasonal lights. Luckily the fine maxes out at $1,000, because it could have topped out at a whopping $1,900. That is a lot of money to spend on Christmas cheer.
Michael Moffa, the father of the family, commented, “Right before Christmas, who could be a grinch to hand this out? [With] the holidays and the pandemic, I think the kids are wanting something that’s more bright to look at.”
He’d hired a company to put up the lights since he was unable to do so himself, and the only availability the company had was before Thanksgiving. The Moffa family countered the $100 a day fine by offering to keep the lights off to avoid annoying neighbors, but their counteroffer was turned down.
While we can understand his stance, the HOA claims they are simply trying to stop people who leave their lights up all year, which some people find very triggering. Honestly, this is one of those cases where it comes down to the individual person. But when you live in a place that has an HOA, you need to follow those rules, no matter how much you love holidays. Some will say that is a “Grinch stance”, and some will say it is necessary.
In other words, it is just as divisive and polarizing as everything else in 2021.