As the month of December rolls in like a lion, snow has begun to blanket the ground, carols are taking over the airwaves…and Christmas decoration abuse has begun.
Gone are the days where serene, tranquil white orbs of peace dotted the soft pines of trees and bushes. Memories of candles lining each window with simple, elegant wooden reindeer mingling about snow-covered lawns are but a distant dream. These shattered fantasies of tasteful décor were wrecked by one thing, and by one thing only: inflation.
And I’m not talking about the epidemic that can really screw up our economy. Nay, I’m talking about the type of inflation that can make Santa billow up to 2-stories tall with his entire entourage of eight tiny reindeer to boot. Yes, that’s right…I’m talking about inflatable lawn ornaments.
When did my most cherished holiday become so gaudy? How on Earth does a giant balloon Grinch win a place next to a lopsided Frosty the Snowman? And, when these decorations aren’t full of air during the day, should little children really be forced to see a deflated Santa, lying pathetically prostrate on the ground?
I happened upon new favorite blog today, Things You Should Hate. The humorous post featured on their main page today laments the uprising of tacky Christmas decoration. As these decorations begin to pop up throughout the country, I am reminded of some song lyrics from Tim Burton’s holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
In here they’ve got a little tree, how queer!
And who would ever think?
They’re covering it with tiny little things
They’ve got electric lights on strings…
“What,” “how,” “who,” and “why” are questions that continually pop into my mind when I pass by certain houses in my neighborhood during the holidays. What on earth were they thinking? How did they manage to staple all of those lights to their porch? Who has enough money to buy 10 lawn ornaments? And for God’s sake, why are those reindeer humping one another?
Call me an “exterior decoration purist,” but I have strict rules when it comes to holiday lighting. Someone’s gotta save Christmas, and it sure as hell ain’t gonna be Cindy Lou Who.
So, for your approval, I submit Aunt Bethany’s Rules for Holiday Outdoor Decorating: Volume 1. If you feel the need to volunteer any of your own suggestions, feel free to do so in the comments section!
Aunt Bethany’s Rules for Holiday Outdoor Decorating: Volume 1
1. NO inflatables! I don’t care how cute or adorable that blow-up Nutcracker looks on your lawn…Nutcrackers weren’t meant to be blown up (yes, I note the innuendo/double-entendre/12-year-old humor in this comment).
2. Any types of bulbs larger than 1 inch must be used sparingly, if at all. Really….do you want your house to look like it’s the entrance to the Moulin Rouge? Sure, you might get more business and women-of-the-night that way, but….
3. Just because you have open lawn space does NOT mean you have to fill every single inch. Please do not make your yard look like a World War II re-enactment with candy-cane wielding elves fighting against Uzi-toting reindeer. Your property can end up looking like a 3-D version of “Where’s Waldo: Christmas Edition” which can induce, seizures, spasms, and early onset A.D.D.
4. Just say “NO” to multicolored lights. If you must use colored lights, PLEASE use them sparingly. You’re trying to invoke a winter wonderland, NOT an amusement park fun house. If anything, stick with the traditional red, green, and white lights…just don’t go crazy with red and green. Your house will end up looking like someone forgot to take down the Halloween decorations.
5. For the love of God, BLUE LIGHTS?!? No, no, no! And while we’re at it, no pink/purple/fuschia/orange/mauve/chartreuse/lime/teal/plaid lights, either!
6. Thou shalt not cover thy bushes in light “nets.” These look WAY too precise and it looks like you grew a bush of lights.
7. Thou shalt not have blinking lights…if you must, PLEASE synchronize your lights with some kick-ass music, like Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
8. Blinking patterns shall not be lopsided! In fact, let’s talk about blinking lights in general. If you have the technological ability to make your lights “twinkle,” then by all means, do it. But “twinkle” is NOT the same as “blink.” To twinkle is to appear like an effervescent fog of pixie dust. To blink is to irritatingly flash and glare at random intervals, which inexplicably brings back memories from bad school dances with equally bad strobe lights.
9. Decorate with a plan; symmetrical patterns are the most eye-appealing. Don’t just throw a strand here, a wreath there, and a garland on the window. Really, could you only manage to put one strand of icicle lights over half of your front deck? Why is there an errant zigzag pattern across the living room? Honestly, only Stevie Wonder has a pass at this rule, and even then, I’m sure his seeing eye dog could decorate better than half the houses I’ve seen this year.
10. If your festive spirit is so overwhelming that you must ignore rules 1-9, then please buck up, take heart, and go as overboard as you can. I would rather see a home that puts The Griswolds’ house to shame than one with no decorations whatsoever. And that is the truth.
What are some of your holiday decorating pet peeves?