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Tacky Christmas 2004

Thanksgiving is now long gone, which means it is time to get started in earnest on the third annual Christmas Decoration Hell thing. As I predicted, my neighbors tore down their inflatable turkey not long after the Thanksgiving dishes were cleared. In fact, I think they dismantled the whole Thanksgiving display on their lawn in between the meal and dessert, then spent all day yesterday putting together their Christmas display. Sure enough, as soon as the first hint of darkness showed last night, the switch was hit and the house lit up like, well, Christmas. My neighbors to the left joined in with a white light display and several houses down, an lighted parade of inflatable characters graced the lawn. This is our first year as homeowners. We are very excited to decorate for the holidays and I'm anxiously looking at the clock wondering if it's too late to wake up my husband and brother-in-law so they can get started with the lights (it is). I have a feeling that my excitement at being able to decorate my own home will cause me to break some of my own rules and regulations. So be it. I'll deal with the consequences, which will be to put a photo of my own house in the Christmas Hell archives. It's time to get the cameras out, kids. Read the rules in the link above and start turning your neighbors in to the tacky decoration police (that would be me). I'll be sharing my photos with fellow Long Islander and Tacky Christmas guru Matt over at Uglychristmaslights.com. To get you started in the spirit of the cause, here's the first two stories I found for the 2004 season that will serve to warn everyone what engaging in tacky decorating will bring about.
Here we have our first entry in this year's contest: Naughty Santa. 041126_naughtysanta.JPG Latham, NY:
The decoration turned a lot of heads Friday morning. Several drivers cruising by Sebastian's on Troy-Schenectady Road couldn't stop staring. A female doll, wearing a T-shirt that says 'I've been naughty,' stands right in front of an inflatable Santa Clause.
Apparently the good folks of Latham don't like to mix sexual innuendos and Christmas. I can't say I blame them. I'm calling bad form here. And from California:
For six years, Alan and Bonnie Aerts transformed their Silicon Valley home into a Christmas wonderland, complete with surfing Santa, jumbo candy canes and a carol-singing chorus of mannequins.
$150,000 worth of lights, which led to a breaking of this rule: 6. A line of cars rolls down the block from December 1st until New Years, turning your neighborhood into a tourist attraction.
This year, though, the merry menagerie stayed indoors. Instead, on the manicured lawn outside the couple's Tudor mansion stands a single tiding: a 10-foot-tall Grinch with green fuzz, rotting teeth, and beet-red eyeballs. The Aertses erected the smirking giant to protest the couple across the street 16-year residents Le and Susan Nguyen, who initiated complaints to city officials that the display was turning the quiet neighborhood into a Disneyesque nightmare.
While I rail against overdone Christmas displays, I think the fun lies in actually looking at and documenting the stuff. I would never go so far as to complain to authorities about a neighbor's display. I say kudos to the Aertses for the clever Grinch decoration. Send all tips (whether they be photos of your own or articles found on the net) to karlrovesbrainATgmailDOTcom.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Tacky Christmas 2004:

» Christmas with the Kranks Catalanos from Silent Running
Justin, dude, whatever happens, don't let her talk you into climbing on the roof with a light up Santa statue...well, ok, at least use a safety line. But don't tie it to the car bumper. Just sayin.... [Read More]

» Ladies and Gentlemen ... start your cameras! from Darleen's Place
Michele has opened the Tacky Christmas 2004 campaign and is soliciting all comers. Do you have neighbors whose display confuses lowflying planes in the area? Who mix in the display other holidays or weirdly inappropriate cartoon characters? Michele wan... [Read More]


Have fun, just don't turn into Jamie Lee Curtis...

The two neighbors were just live on the Today Show - did you see it? Not only did the guy have police put up barricades to help reduce traffic last year, he also offered to donate $10K to the woman's favorite charity for the inconvenience and she turned him down flat. She really WAS a Grinch, and his new "display" is hysterical (and most deserved, IMHO, after hearing both sides).

Two words: Precious Moments

I have a candidate all picked out...I'm just waiting until their display is up and starts confusing pilots in the area.

Shilo Inns, a company headquartered along highway 26 in Beaverton OR has a huge display every year. Huge arrays of flashing lights, nativity sceens with armies of inflatable sheep, a 30' snowman on the roof, etc.

The local flight control center does use it as a navigation aid during the winter.

I don't think this qualifies so much as a display, but it is downright tacky
As Black Friday shoppers crammed into the King of Prussia mall, a pro-union Santa stood vigil with striking Pennsylvania Turnpike toll collectors nearby on day three of their first-ever strike.

At 380 pounds, the bearded, 60-year-old retiree and friend of striking workers was the picture of Santa, albeit with a Teamsters shirt beneath his red coat and a picket sign shoved under his wide black belt.

"My deer will not cross a picket line," Drexel Hill resident Tom Anthony warned as he waved to motorists at the Valley Forge interchange. "It will be a sad Christmas if Santa cannot come to the Northeast."

Apropos of note much, did you see this?

We just cheated last year during the summer and picked up a bunch of tube lights on sale at the local Wal-Mart. I strung them up along the gutters during the summer and all it took to activate them was to flip a switch for the Christmas season.

It also comes in handy to let the Pizza guy know that this is the house he is looking for during the rest of the year, or to make the house stand out for visitors coming by for the first time.

- I will eschew the "Christmas ball-o-lights from hell" and put up our usual Charlie Brown tree, carefully chosen at the local lot for its total lack of pine needles and stumpy, misshapen profile. Fortunately my godzillateen likes my twisted sense of humor....

- Your site has been added to the Amerblog "wall of shamelessly humorous stuff" BlogRole....lacking trackback I did a direct link to you....

I just mailed a lighted plastic sheep for a manger scene that my father wants to put up in Florida. He has been looking for a sheep for several years but for some reason couldn't find one. I found one in an antique store and mailed it off.

Each figure in his display is lighted internally and kind of glows. The little sheep looks like a crouching ghost.

I have now contributed directly to his tacky display.

Apparently the good folks of Latham don't like to mix sexual innuendos and Christmas.

"The good folks of Latham" ought to lighten up. I'll take a mildly suggestive display over the usual Xmas treacle any day of the week. The club's display could have gone a lot farther; I think it was restrained, if anything. (But what do I know, I'm a Blue State degenerate.)

Imagine if it had been Santa enjoying a "Precious Moment" with one of the aforementioned inflatable sheep....