One of the unspoken rules of home ownership, such as “never shovel your snow into your neighbor’s open car window”, is that you must decorate your yard every holiday season. For most of us, this consists of tastefully hanging a string of icicle lights over the garage door while sacrificing a few extremities to the sub-zero weather. However, some of you may be tempted to take it to the next level this year, so we’re providing a helpful guide to 6 types of decoration styles you may want to avoid in order to keep your neighbors and save your marriage.
[pullquote type=”right”]’Tis better to not have brought down the property values of your neighborhood than ever to have decorated at all”[/pullquote]These decorators just throw up a bunch of random multi-colored LED lights they just got on sale at Target on the nearest pine tree, then stick their traditional rotating mechanical Laughing Santa in the yard and call it good. There ARE bowl games to watch, after all. However, to mangle Sir Alfred Lloyd Tennyson, “‘Tis better to not have brought down the property values of your neighborhood than ever to have decorated at all”. Do not emulate them.
Meticulous Decoration Extroverts
These people spend all fall poring through Christmas design catalogs looking for just the right shade of blue twinkling stars to match the hand-made Austrian icicle lights they got last year. Each wreath and bow are meticulously placed to accent the overall theme of “See? I Should Have Been An Interior Decorator Instead Of A Bank Teller”. They are usually women paired with slump-shouldered husbands with depleted credit cards and a little too much attention to the liquor cabinet.
Historically Inaccurate Junk Lovers
Most of their decorations have been collected from yard sales in July which are then stuffed into the garage attic. They consist of singing beavers with candy canes, 18th century carolers with colors so faded they look like anemic ghosts, animated Santas from the 70’s so broken down they look like they’re frantically beating their reindeer, placed next to puzzling Flintstones-themed manger scenes with half the bulbs missing and Bam-Bam as baby Jesus.
Vomitous Eye-Abusing All-Out Holiday Extravaganza
These are the rare neighbors who have made a career out of annoying everyone else on the block by going all out. Their main goal is to get on the local news and say, with a tear in their eye, how special it is to them that people enjoy all of their hard work, because their daddy, who was an electrician and started all of this couldn’t help this year because a 400-pound plaster Abominable Snow Monster fell off the truck onto his bad leg he hurt the year before when he fell off the roof inflating the Dancing Hula Santa.
Traditional Or Die!
Forget these garish “LED” light monstrosities; give us the old days, when christmas bulbs were the size of kumquats and your resulting electric bill made you eat bologna sandwiches all January. These folks will either be your kindly old grandparent neighbors who have been lovingly replacing the same 30 bulbs for 50 years, or the hipster couple who just moved in and like to blare their vintage vinyl “Andy Williams Christmas Album” while decorating their Earth-Mother Holiday Topiary with free-range tinsel and beeswax candles.
These citizens have decided to utilize the latest advances in inflatable decorations to turn their front yards into a discombobulated, puffed-up holiday horror for four weeks. Watch as Rudolph does vain battle against a snowman having a seizure. Marvel, as you never knew Yoda was one of the Wise Men. Expect to get little sleep as their yard will sound like two scared jumbo jets fighting with their tails tied together.
If you happen to fall into one of these categories, we apologize. Just be ready for our exciting life-size inflatable Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria on Columbus Day.
[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”book”]This column is featured in the book Dubious Knowledge (Book One)[/feature_headline]