Recently there have been some violations of the Holiday Decorating Rules in our neighborhood. I’m talking, of course, about people who have already put up their Christmas decorations! I’m talking full-scale decorations–lights, wreaths, ribbons, bows, inflatables. IT IS NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET! Don’t they know they are in violation of the Rules?
But perhaps they don’t know about the Rules, as they were devised by my husband and I and have never been circulated publicly before. So, in order to help out, we’ve decided to share the Holiday Decorating Rules in an effort to stamp out violations.
- Rule #1: Do not decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. It is bad enough that stores start celebrating Christmas in August, but there is no excuse for decorating your house for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a Major Holiday and a Major Holiday should not be preempted by another Major Holiday like Christmas.
- Rule #2: Christmas decorations must be removed no later than the second week of January. There is nothing more annoying than seeing houses will full-scale Christmas decorations in early February. Christmas is over, people! Take them down!
- Rule #3: Halloween decorations must not appear prior to October 1. There were multiple violations of this rule in our neighborhood this year. We counted no less than 5 houses that had full-scale Halloween displays in mid-September! And there is one house that STILL has their Halloween decorations out, which brings me to…
- Rule #4: Halloween decorations must be taken down on November 1. If you can’t take them down due to weather, at least stop the spooky noises and the witch stirring her smoking cauldron in your front yard. It is bad enough that you’ve been scaring my kid for over a month now, but Halloween is over and we need to move on!
- Rule #5: The only holidays appropriate for full-scale decoration are Christmas, Halloween and (possibly) Easter. By full-scale decorations, I mean littering your yard with inflatables, graveyards, giant rabbits, lights on every tree and so forth.
- Rule #6: The only holidays appropriate for small-scale decoration are Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (for the Irish only) and July 4th. Small-scale decoration includes a garden or house flag, mailbox wrap, door wreath and/or window clings. If you have decorations for Groundhog Day, Labor Day or Arbor Day, you have a serious problem and need professional help.
- Rule #7: Ensure that your decorations do not impinge on your neighbors life. There are three basic levels of holiday decorating. Level 1 is Minimalist (a wreath, candles in the window). Level 2 is Normal (lights on the bushes, wreath on the garage, a lawn decoration or two). Level 3 is Insane (every square inch of your yard and house is decorated). It is the Level 3: Insane decorators that are intrusive. These are the people that install an entire graveyard at Halloween–complete with fog effects, witch cauldrons, spooky sound effects, light effects, severed heads hanging from the garage lights, and things that glow and pop out of the ground when you walk by on the sidewalk. At Christmas, the Insane are the people whose homes can be seen from space due to the 10 million lights and 1000 plastic light up things that fill the yard (a la National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation). If your spooky noises are keeping me at night, that is a major problem. If I can’t get into my driveway because of all the cars gawking at your insane Christmas display, that is a problem. Realize that not everyone is as enamored of decorations as you.
Whew…I feel better. Now I’m going to get my citation book and write-up the people down the block.