How good are Christmas lights? I mean, seriously – every year you forget, until the start of December rolls around and suddenly, bam! it all comes flooding back. My Dad put ours – cool, white icicles for the ceiling, fairy lights for the balcony – up a couple of nights ago and, aside from a pretty tedious bout of untangling, we had an absolute blast playing with the different settings (who in their right mind would go for strobing lights?).

But you know what’s better than putting up your Christmas lights? Looking at what other people with infinitely more time, festive cheer and – let’s face it – ego can do with the lights outside their homes. And if you’ve seen all of the talent your street or suburb has to offer, Christmas Light Search has your back.

The website, founded in 2008, is Australia’s largest – and, to my knowledge, only – Christmas light directory. Here’s how it works: head to the website and put in your postcode (along with a few nearby) and you’ll see all of the best Christmas light decorations, with photos and everything, in your area. Or you can just browse the map for the best lights in your city.

There’s a surprising number of features on Christmas Light Search. “Best of” guides mark your favourite lights on the map to make them easier to revisit later, and you can write light reviews and even add your own to the site. Then there are top-rated houses: destination Christmas light displays that are worth the pilgrimage (one excerpt: “Music played, moving features, interactive displays, nativity scene, roof decorated, walk-in display”).

This year, several Covid-safe measures are in play, including mask requirements (depending on the home), hand sanitiser, no-touching rules and drive-by-only displays.

So visit Christmas Light Search, and try something a little bit different this silly season. Because after all, the only thing better than having a stickybeak at someone else’s house is having a stickybeak at someone else’s house – but there’s Christmas lights too.