New Jersey homeowner can't put up Christmas lights unless he pays hefty fee, township says

A New Jersey resident annually decks the halls for all those dreaming of red-nosed reindeer and a white Christmas -- but now his township wants to see some green first.

Thomas and Kris Apruzzi, of Old Bridge, have put on a 70,000-light Christmas display -- even being featured on ABC's "Great Christmas Light Fight" in 2014 -- at their home for more than a decade, getting passersby in the holiday spirit and raising money for charity, according to But this year, the township said the couple needs to pay a hefty fee for security or the show might not go on.

To keep the light show this year, the Apruzzis will have to pay Old Bridge Township $2,000 for police services each night as well as to fund a shuttle to bus people from a local school to their home, a cost of about $1,000, the family explained on GoFundMe. They plan to use the fundraising site to raise money to pay the fees necessary to keep the tradition going.

"We said 'No.' It's my First Amendment right -- my freedom of speech and my freedom of religion," Thomas Apruzzi told the Bridgewater Courier News of the township's stipulations. "I am a Catholic and I believe very much in Christmas. That's how I express myself -- through my lights. There is so much negativity in the world that if I can make people happy just one day, why not?"

Video posted by Thomas Apruzzi in 2017:

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