A great many were tacky and very kitsch but certainly Eye catching and always a lot of Fun to go see. But with the number of HOA's abounding now, the potential for dictating what can and cannot be done to one's own Home has stifled the Freedom of that kind of personal expression even during Holiday Celebrating. What is appropriate Decorating for any Holiday is entirely subjective and so at the whims of those with the authority to dictate their own lack of objectivity it varies widely what you can or cannot do in an HOA environment.
It does draw crowds and additional traffic and noise, so I'm not without sympathy for how inconvenient it could become with so many visitors flocking to see such a Show in a Residential setting. Especially since it's Free, tho' you are free to donate to defer the expense of putting on a Community Show... it is a Labor of Love and a Gift to the Community it is in. Some of these folks spend most of the year preparing and considerable expense tied up in props and electricity.
Many of these Homes have so much to accomplish to ready their Extreme Christmas for viewing that they begin in the Extreme Heat of an Arizona Summer! The Cost too for the Host Family can be quite prohibitive since what is tied up in their Seasonal Inventory can be just as Extreme, tho' many profess they Source it year round and look for bargains and donations to The Cause.
At The Santa House in Glendale my Favorite Props would have to be the Giant Nutcrackers that look like something from a Commercial Display at a Mall... perhaps they even were? The Variety of Christmas Trees this Host has is quite impressive too, the Specialty Trees abound and he adds to them every year. A conservative guess would be he has in excess of Fifty Trees, probably more... it's like a Christmas Tree Forrest and gives it that Enchanting Feeling of being in some Fantasy Forrest!
My own Family and Friends feels that I am an Extreme Decorator and the Holidays just amplify my Passion for excess. *Winks* One good Lifelong Friend sent me a Christmas Card and jokingly he asked if I would have room for it? *LMAO* BTW Mike, Yes, I found a spot... so your Card is on Display at Villa Boheme' and sorry I missed your call last Night while I was on the Light Tour with my BFF. I'm sure you Shared many a Wild and Crazy Blast from the Past possibly incriminating Story with The Man. *Winks* That's the best part of Lifelong Friends, the History Shared and the Memories Shared over a span of numerous years.