People who put up huge Christmas displays usually wow the neighborhood with loud lights and inflatables. You will also see nativity scenes, some of which look very realistic.

A family in Austin, Texas has gone beyond the lifelike baby-in-a-manger scene and is bordering on Halloween scariness and humor. At least to some of their neighbors. The Heerlein family got into the holiday spirit by paying tribute to the ‘80s comedy, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

They arranged for a fake Clark Griswold – in the form of a dummy dressed in winter clothes – to dangle from the roof just like the scene in the movie. With the ladder tilted away from his feet, it looked like the guy was in trouble while hanging lights.

That’s exactly what a passerby thought who panicked and attempted to help him. A man asked “Clark” if he was okay and tried to move the ladder under his feet. The ladder was attached to the house with lighting wire and was hard to maneuver, but since he didn’t get a response, he called police.

As it turns out, the neighborhood holds a friendly competition each year to see who has the best Christmas setup, and the Heerleins are trying to keep up their winning streak from last year. Although this was all in good fun, police have asked the family to let people know it’s just a holiday joke. That good Samaritan wasn’t the first person to call.

Watch the news report below to see camera footage of the encounter and to hear how the family handled the mixup. Folks now know Clark will be up there all season.

Do you do funny displays like this for Christmas? Has it ever alarmed anyone?