Mr Christmas

Why Watch? When Clark Griswold finally gets his Christmas lights to blind the neighborhood in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” bursts into the scene. It must be what Bruce Mertz hears every year when he flips the switch on 51,000 lights after Thanksgiving.

Beyond charming, this short documentary from Nick Palmer highlights the sweet personality of the 84-year-old man who spends three months on his roof transforming his Northern California home into a luminescent celebration that’s morphed into a tourist attraction.

Part how-to, part memoir, it finds its footing when Mertz explains his emotional connection to the hobby. Beyond a powerful earnestness, it remains (for the most part) lovably quirky and naturally endearing.

What Will It Cost? About 15 minutes.

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