Keeping Up with the Joneses

Growing up one of our holiday traditions was to drive around the surrounding towns looking for spectacular Christmas light displays. Over the years, we have discovered  various houses decorate with lights, led displays and holiday figurines. There is even one house in our town that features the most life-like reindeer pulling Santa’s sled – we soon learned that these look so life-like because they are real Reindeer and the person who lives in the house is a taxidermist! Only in NH…

Last night Matt and I took the train out to Greenwich, Connecticut to visit our friends Laura and Sam. And while we certainly enjoyed spending time with them our real reason for the trip was to see the Christmas light display set up at the home of Paul Tudor Jones.

Paul is a hedge fund manager who founded Robin Hood back in 1988. He is an incredibly generous and caring person and I consider myself extremely lucky to work at a place that carries out his vision. He gave a very moving speech at one of our events about a month ago – feel free to watch is here.

Every year, the Jones family spreads a little (or some may say, a lot) of holiday cheer with their Christmas light display. And we’re talking more than lining the roof and windows with lights… Off-duty police officers direct traffic around the sprawling light display, allowing drivers to line up eight at a time in front of Jones’ 13,000-square-foot home on a waterfront cul-de-sac. A soundtrack synchronized to the thousands of flashing lights plays over the radio, creating a show that  lasts nearly five minutes long.

Before dinner, Sam and Laura drove us through the magical display – let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

 

 

This is a tradition that was started back in 2000 and every year the show has become more elaborate. I’ve included video from 2010 below.

 

 

So while I am sure some people will criticise Paul for spending a large amount of money every year on his Christmas light display, I am thankful. It is hard not to smile as you drive by his house. Thank you for preserving the spirit and magic of the season!

7 thoughts on “Keeping Up with the Joneses

    1. Sad you feel this way. This project puts many people to work for quite some time. Not to mention the joy it brings to the hundreds of families that come see it every night. Those hundreds that are spending their money in local stores and restaurants…etc, etc, etc. IF this was only for him, and not for the community, you’d have an argument. But let’s understand this is his Christmas gift to you…if you don’t want it, leave it wrapped under your tree.

      1. I’d rather see lasting memories created through things like Habitat for Humanity homes for families. Just think there are better ways to spend money/use resources.
        (and the 13,000 sq. ft. home had something to do with my comment)

    2. Dear Liberal,
      Isn’t this what it is all about? The people with the money spend it? It wasn’t being invested in a corporate buyout that cut jobs or some fund that created bad housing investments… It put real people to work, and from the looks of it, lots of real people. But from your comment, you’d rather he just “give it away” thru robinhood? That ignores the fact that this keeps people in their jobs by creating work.
      I’d also like to counter that if this was “conspicuous consumption” it would infer that the money was spent on something exclusive and luxurious that only the owner benefits from, like a Bently car… All this does is spread smiles to many people…..

      All the best for a great holiday.

  1. although this light display may be “over the top” it does spread much happiness to many many people and is free. sometimes spending money to create lasting memories is worth it!!

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