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It's Back! Operation TIPS: Christmas Decoration Hell

In this morning's rant about the Christmas holiday season, Angie left this comment:

Michele, if we can't fight over the Constitution, can we at least have a fight between those cheerful, good-hearted people who know that Christmas lights *must* be multi-colored in celebration of the multifaceted joys of the season, and those sleet-souled, glassy-eyed, yuppie automatons who think that Christmas lights must be white because they are "tasteful"? INFIDELS! DOGS! May all of your rainbows be black! May your newspaper run out of colored ink while printing your Sunday funnies---52 weeks in a row! May all the colors on your M&Ms melt in your hand, not in your mouth!

And Jack said: Screw the 'tasteful white lights', I found those old kind, the kind my dad put up when I was a kid, big colored ceramic bulbs that he got sometime in the '60s.

Yes, yes, yes. The big, primary colored lights. The ones that made your neighborhood like a box of Crayola crayons. The ones that lit up the snow with their colors. REAL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! Not these sissified, oh so tasteful, prim and proper lights. What the hell is that? It looks like you've just left some lights on so your kids could find their way home. From the woods. The dark, evil woods. Where you left them as a sacrifice to the Christmas Light Spirit. But the Christmas Light Spirit didn't want them. You know why? BECAUSE YOU HAVE WHITE LIGHTS ON YOUR HOUSE!

Anyhow. I see it's time for Operation Tips to get started again. I oringally posted last December, but I'll save you the time it takes to click a link and post it below. I may like colored lights, but I do not like tacky displays of festiveness. I know at least one person who think the tackier, the better, but he lives in California, so we'll forgive him.

Go read the rules below. Some of the links might be outdated, but I'll get around to fixing them later.

It's never too early to call your neighbors tacky.

Get your cameras ready, oh faithfull Tipsters. I have a mission for you: Seek and destroy The Evil Overdecorator. You know who I'm talking about; the guy who uses more electricity for his Christmas decorations than an entire small city. The neighbor who makes it look as if the Wal-Mart Christmas department threw up on her lawn.

I have a list of tips so you can determine whether or not you should report your neighbors to the TIPS Christmas hotline:

1. Does the brightness of their lighting display cause low-flying planes to think they are approaching a landing strip?

2. Do they have a soundtrack of sappy Christmas songs playing on repeat all night long?

3. Do they mix in other holidays (Fourth of July, Halloween) with their Christmas decorations?

4. Is their nativity scene represented by cartoon characters or are they using characters that have nothing whatsover to do with Christmas and should not be used in any decorations ever? (see, Pokemon display)

5. Are any of the inflatable decorations over four feet tall?

6. Does a line of cars form down your block from December 1st until New Years, turning your neighborhood into a tourist attraction?

7. Do they charge people to view the lights?

8. Have they turned any of their lawn junk into decorations?

9. Do they have flashing or lighted messages boards whose size rivals that of the Shea Stadium Diamond Vision?

10. Do they force their kids to re-enact The Night Before Christmas on their lawn every night?

11. Do they advertise their display in the local paper?

12. Do they have an animatronic Nutcracker Suite?

13. Is the Santa they hired to "ho-ho-ho" all night long is drunk?

14. Do they have a lighted birthday cake for Jesus?

I think you get the point. I am entrusting that none of you have made any of the above errors in judgment. And I'm sure you have some of your own to add.

Now, I am sending you out into the wild, armed with your cameras to hunt down the perpetrators of any of the above Christmas crimes and report back to me. Rewards to be had for the person who brings in the most offenders. You may also use this opportunity to turn yourself in if you are a guilty party and receive amnesty before one of your neighbors rats on you.

I will be out trolling the streets of Long Island, looking for the most tasteless, tacky decorations I can find. Two words: wire cutters.

I got 'em and I'm not afraid to use them.


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» Hehe... the white lights... from Ain't Done It!
MICHELE tells us how she REALLY FEELS about the white lights.... [Read More]


I wish I still got back to my old neighorhood!! There were two totally decked out houses (on either side of a temple no less) that we used to go "tour" every year. These people had everything from the santa and reindeer on the roof to separate little sheds with animatronic stuff, and lawns littered with penguins. Damn I loved that stuff!!!!!

Yes, oh yes. People can get delightfully tacky here in Georgia...there's this one house...

I'm going to take a pic of this place and send it to you, Michele. It'll warm your heart! ;)

Well, last Christmas I did buy some American flag lights. But it was my first Christmas in the US in three years. And they were on sale, do you hear? Sale! Cheap! And long ago my mom sent off to get me M&M lights (you put little M&M figures over the top of tasteful white lights, and then they fall off. Festive!) This year I'm hoping to get a string of shotgun shell lights (you yuppies can get these elegant gold and white versions).

This is all indoors, mind you. We're not inflicting this on the neighbors. Mainly because we don't have a house.

I like just about all of them - including the ultra-tacky ones - EXCEPT for those oh-so-tasteful white lights. A pox on their houses!

Yeah, I admit I'm a loser home alone on a Friday night. I'm getting ready to go watch my new Springsteen Barcelona concert DVD that came in the mail today, though, so at least I'm cool by proxy. ;-)

There is an entire subdivision in Olathe, Kansas (O-lathe-a is the pronunciation, not Oh, Lathe)
which has as part of the convenants that you must decorate for Christmas - I'm talking at least 100 homes.
Every house is lit up to the max, Christmas music playing, and lights everywhere - one house even outlines the basketball goal (including the net) with tiny colored lights.
And, every single home is required to have a large, and I mean large - 5 ft high or more Christmas Card with the family's name on it - how do I know this? Oh, years ago, when looking for a house, we looked at the neighborhood, until we found out we would be required to put up thousands upon thousands of Christmas lights each year.

Tour buses even go through that neighborhood.

Oh, how can you damn the white-lighters on one hand and the Griswold tack-fest on the other? Viva la tacky!

Whenever I buy a house, I'm going to be that guy. The one decorating in September. The one causing brownouts on the whole block. The one who's lawn alone you can see from the 747 going overhead. Oh yes. There will be much voltage. And it will be good. It's my personal wise-man gift. Easier shared than myrrh! More expensive than frankenscence! Brighter, hotter and sexier than gold!

I fight with my mother every year not to put up the damn white lights on her house, to no avail.

I hate all white lights! Colors colors colors!

The tipster ought to check out some of the neighborhoods in south St. Louis. The electric bill for the Christmas display is probably more than the mortgage payment for one of those tiny houses.

May your days be merry, and bright,
and may all your Christmases be tacky!

Oh yeah, and my favorite Christmas tree lights are little Fender Telecaster guitars - got two strings...

..which I have to sneak on the tree when my wife isn't looking.

god bless y'all.

Damn straight! My father last year had to retire the box of 1970's big-bulbs (due to their being a complete fire hazard after three decades of use), and it was a sad, sad day in the Finn household. But, at least he bought miltu-colored italian lights.

Well, I got my lights (Target's got them--in two sizes, regular and huge)

Would a scale repilca of Jack's sleigh, complete with Zero and the bonedeer be considered tacky?

How about Hogfathers? 'On Rooter, on Gouger on Tusker and Snouter!' We did that one before....tho the neighbors thought the garland of Grim Reapers in red cloaks with fur was a bit much...

This year I'll get a picture of The House. It looks less like it was tackily decorated than it looks like a decorations factory exploded on it.

Ah well...damn me to the white light camp. String lights aren't just a holiday thing here, it's a winter time custom and the usual color of choice is white. They stay on people's house from about October through April, if not year-round.

My gal and I will be buying a house next fall...and I'll be hanged if I'm gonna change out the white lights for holiday colors. But then, I'm a lazy lout when it comes to things like that. At least it won't look like I blew off taking down the Christmas lights. Besides, the real live tree will have plently of colorful lights to make up for any perceived prepiness.


Please tell me you have a picture of the Hogfathers decorations. I'm a huge Pratchett fan, and that just made me smirk as I imagined it.

Not yet, but I will when we drag out the Christmas boxes to decorate. I think we're puting them in the dining room this year. For atmosphere.

The lights are those Grim Reaper lights with the little fabric cowl removed and replaced with a red and white furred Reapers cowl.

The sled was one of those card sleds they sell around Christmas and four big plastic pigs. I wanted to get something more 'boarish', but we couldn't find anything except a warthog.

We've still got the sled, but the pigs have all disappeared.

I'll try to get a pic when I give Michele the picture of the House--we saw them setting up last night