Man Dies While Tending To His Christmas Decorations

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A terrible Christmas irony occurred in Canada on Dec. 18.

A man who achieved minor fame in the Toronto suburb of Burlington for lavishly adorning his house with Christmas decorations died after falling off a ladder while tending to the holiday lighting, the Daily Mail notes.

Doug Musson, 82, was rushed to an area hospital following the fall, but was pronounced dead later that same day, CTV reported, according to the Daily Mail.

"I looked behind me and I saw a ladder, so I thought, the ladder fell," said Robert Musson, the victim's son. "Next thing I know, I look down and he's two feet from me, lying on the ground."

Doug's house features various Christmas-themed characters and objects constructed from a mix of green, red, and white lights.

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The resulting visual experience has led to his home being nicknamed "Griswold House," after the 1989 movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," in which the fictional Griswold family goes overboard with the holiday decor.

Neighbors expressed sadness and surprise when confronted with the news of Doug's sudden passing.

"I always came by with my children every Christmas for the last 25 years," Dianne Lemay said.

Even Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring issued a statement. "Doug Musson and his family have contributed to a special Christmas for many years," he said.

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The "Griswold Home" tradition began over 30 years ago, explained Doug's wife, Joanne. "Doug and I both liked to stand up in the window upstairs and watch the faces of the little kids," she said.

"He liked to see the people smiling," added his brother, Robert.

After having thoughts of turning off the lights this season due to Doug's death, the Mussons decided to keep them on in his honor.
"He's put all this work into things," Robert said. "We need to show people."

An impromptu memorial has been set up on the front lawn, with residents giving cards and cash to help keep the lights on. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are thousands of holiday decorating accidents every year.

For example, the CPSC estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments nationwide during November and December 2012. 

Falls accounted for 34 percent of the reported injuries in that year. 

"There are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. Adding safety to your checklist can keep a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy," said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. "Keep Christmas trees watered well, don't leave candles unattended, and use caution whenever you are on a ladder."

The organization even has a blog called "Ladder Safety 101" that addressed that issue specifically.

Sources: Daily MailConsumer Product Safety Commission / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Futher Franklin Funeral Home via Daily Mail

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