Christmas Lights, From Afghanistan To Zurich

by Chiara Atik · December 21, 2009

    We're pretty snobby about Christmas lights in New York, and with good reason: the elaborate lights and displays on Fifth Avenue attract thousands of tourists each year, and are unrivaled with any elsewhere in the world. OR ARE THEY?Is Christmas decorating a purely New York skill, like avoiding eye contact and walking through Times Square at a normal pace, or does the rest of the world also have talent? It's unsurprising that Guantanamo Bay doesn't exactly "wow' with their displays, but judging by these pictures from around the world, we've got some competition...

    [All images via New York Times].

    Military Base, Afghanistan

    The Good News: This is definitely the most depressing picture in the bunch, so it's all uphill from here! But seriously, doesn't that sad, melting snowman  sort of make you want to kill yourself? Here's to a better 2010 to all the soldiers and citizens of Afghanistan.


    The rink at the Christmas Market in Berlin definitely has an advantage over the one at 30 Rock; the ability to skate without having to clear the rink for a surprise proposal every 20 minutes.

    Carborro, North Carolina

    They're big improvisers down in North Carolina...if you don't have a big avenue or storefront to decorate for Christmas, you can always decorate your pickup truck! The best part is the horizontal ladder.

    Florence, Italy

    Italian's keep it Medieval with Giotto-esque with simple stars adorning their 13th Century streets...

    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Nice to know they're keeping it cheery down in Guantanamo!

    Kittery, Maine

    This is EXACTLY what you'd think a house in Kittery, Maine, would look like at Christmas, isn't it?

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon House, UCLA

    OMG, omg you guys: Elle Woods decorated her house for Christmas!

    Madrid, Spain

    Keeping it multichromatic in Spain!


    Honestly, sort of disappointed in Paris. Would it have killed them to decorate Notre Dame with lights and maybe a Santa Claus landing on the towers...or at least Quasimodo dressed like an elf?

    Quebec, Canada

    This looks like a village in one of those Christmas Model Train sets...

    Santa Cruz, CA

    Notice the Peace Sign wreath.


    Nativity Scene, lots of lights, Spanish Missionary architecture in the background...very Texas.

    Burlington, Vermont

    At first I was like "Pshhh, MILK CARTONS hanging from trees? So ghetto.", but this is actually by far the loveliest Christmas light arrangement yet, so, go Vermont.

    Zurich, Switzerland

    Zurich drips its buildings in diamond lights, very fitting.