Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 Categories of Outdoor Christmas Decoration Craziness

I walk my dog for at least 45 minutes each morning (well I should say my husband or I walk her, as he has been subbing for me during some foot issues the past few months.) And if we don't pack up and go to the park, weather permitting, we walk around our the grid of streets in our neighborhood. It is a somewhat working class neighborhood, with lots of small homes built in the 60s and 70s (we live on the edge of town in a newer developed area). It is also a very Irish Catholic neighborhood, which can be said for most of Boston and Greater Boston.

On this 45 minute walk I have a lot of time to think about things: how I am totally out of shape (at least once or twice a week I make the decision to go on a diet, which lasts until lunch), how sometimes I wish I didn't have a dog to walk, how sometimes I wish I lived somewhere where it was 60 degrees every day, what dance moves I would throw at Justin Timberlake if we ever were to meet at a club and have a dance off (it could happen, and I am prepared.) Most mornings I try to come up with posts for the blog, and today was no different.

As I walked along, trying to get my pooch to stop pulling me, and trying to not get blown over by the 30 MPH winds I started to notice the varying degrees of decorations in people's yards in the 'hood. And the more I observed, the more I realized that all of these people's houses fell into 5 different categories. So here goes:

Mama J's 5 Categories of Outdoor Christmas Decorations:

1. Scrooge. Ok, so calling the people that don't decorate Scrooge is a little harsh. I realize that these people might not have the financial means for decorating, or they might not even celebrate Christmas. But maybe they are people that hate the holidays and think decorating is bourgeois, so let's just call them Scrooge for now. Bah Humbug - put up a wreath people.

2. Phoning it In. These are the people that put one to three random, mis-matched, crazy decorations on their lawns. For instance, there is a house down the road from me that has one bush with red lights, a random tiny penguin about 20 feet away from the house, and then on the corner of the property simply a sign that says "North Pole." Not a red and green sign, just a white sign, with black writing on it, on a wood stick that says North Pole. Who are you kidding buddy? These are also the people that scatter decorations on their lawns - like one wicker reindeer who once moved it's head but broke 3 years ago, Santa and his sleigh, that is missing a couple reindeer, and/or nativity scene that consisted of one Wiseman and a Joseph. Yes, I saw all this this morning.
Ok, so this is out of Pottery Barn,
but it is Christmas perfection!

3. Just Right. A wreath on the front door, some lights in the trees or the house, some lovely garland around the doorway, maybe some candles in the windows, a properly placed blow up Santa...that is what I call just right. Just the right amount of Christmas spirit, a little glowing flair...just enough for someone driving by to think "doesn't that house look nice." This is where most of the houses fall in my neighborhood, but then there far too many of in the following category for my taste.

4. Yard Sale. It seems that the people in my town go out to Christmas stores the day after Christmas and purchase every tacky lawn decoration possible that is on sale. And then the following year they place every single one on their lawn - I am not talking 3 or 4 items, I am talking like 12-15. I passed one house today that, was on a corner lot so it had twice as much lawn space, and the owners had put probably 20 random, mis-matched decorative items in a row, around the front and side of their house. It was like a broken down decoration convention; snowman, reindeer, miniature carolers, penguin, nativity, donkey, reindeer that lights up, blow up Santa, another nativity, elf, reindeer whose head moves in a circle, North Pole sign, another nativity, Santa missing an arm, etc. There were no decorations on the actual house, but this sad line of craziness around their house. And these are not big lawns mind you, but more people than I care to think of pack in the madness on their property. I will not even begin to discuss the people who decorate pumpkin headed figures for every holiday of the year on their front lawn. You read that right - Pumpkin Headed Figures...permanently fixed on their tiny front lawns...dressed for every holiday of the year practically.

These are the lights
we go see in FL
5. Balls to the Wall a.k.a. Second Mortgage to Pay the Electric Bill. We don't have a lot of these people in our neighborhood, unfortunately! These are the people that make a spectacle of their house come the holiday season. Their houses are covered in lights, there are moving objects on their lawns, etc.. We drove by one a few streets over the other night who had transformed their back yard (visible from the street) into Santa's workshop. We get a lot of these down in Florida, where my family is from, and there are even a few houses that are famous for it, and a drive-by is part of our holiday tradition. These are the people who pump music out for you to hear when you pass their house, the people that plan for this months in advance, and whose electric bills I am assuming are ri-donk-ulous. They put in all this hard work for every one else's enjoyment, as they sit in their house and watch cars drive slowly by staring in amazement at the craziness they created. They are Clark Griswold.

Where does your house fall this year??

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