The REAL "Nightmare Before Christmas"!
WARNING: THIS POST IS GUARANTEED TO OFFEND MOST EVERYONE ( if what I see driving around is any indication.) BUT MEANT TO MAKE YOU LAUGH. However,if you are sensitive about your Christmas decorations, (a Holiday Snowflake perhaps?) please skip this post as I will be ripping into almost every house decorating trend commonly sold and used today.
Christmas the puffy 2018 way!
Okay, if you are still with me sit tight, because today we are going to forget "Bad Santa" and focus on 'bad decorating' as I take you all on the “Tacky Tour of Outdoor Christmas Decorations”. Try not to wince if you see your own home along the way.
Before the ‘virtual ride around town’ let’s look back on the history of outdoor decorations. There's a lot of good information on Wiki (read more) It seems like the idea of outdoor lights goes as far back as the late 1800s with the notion really catching on in the 1930s. So those older vintage decorations must have been very tasteful, right? Let's have a look. Here are a few images from the 1940s and 1950s.
This is a shot from 1945. Perhaps the owner's son was a returning veteran paratrooper? Even then, there had to be a more tasteful way to acknowledge that.
Here's another tidbit of taste from a little later, 1958.
These images prove that being corny and tacky in one’s attempts to celebrate Christmas is timeless. Perhaps the two most popular depictions of this cultural phenomenon can be seen in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” & “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. The scenes in these productions reflect that the notion of overdoing it to a point of visual catastrophe is inextricably linked to the season.
I can forgive Snoopy because dogs ARE colorblind.
But a human then decided it was a good idea to recreate it....and that I cannot forgive.
Leave no spot unlit.
How timeless, simple, yet elegant.
But one's inclinations need not be traditional:
Totally modern.....................utterly tasteful.
But while such a possibilities are within the reach of anyone with taste…..or even the ability to copy someone else’s good taste from a Pinterest photo, the unfortunate truth is that it rarely happens. Instead any trip through town on a December evening turns into an annual assault on one’s senses. I have noticed that there are a few key categories of Christmas atrocity. Some folks merely fall prey to one or two, but some unfortunate souls manage to hit every one. Here they are listed, explained, and illustrated. And just to prove I’m not a total dick, I conclude each with a simple solution or hint to correct the problem:
1: The Mismatched Hodgepodge I list this one first because it’s the one that bothers me the most and also the one you see most frequently. I characterize this ‘style’ as the “I bought white icicles three years ago to go with the white wicker lit reindeer, but last year I got the blue shimmer bush nets for the arbor vitae, except I forgot I had three bushes and when I went back for the third set they only had the blinking red left. This year I strung some flashing multi-color lights on the porch rail and put a 8' inflatable Holy Family next to the 2' deer.” -mentality. The end result looks like what would be a great visual celebration if the Holy Family had traveled to Las Vegas instead of Bethlehem.
How many colors and themes can you fit on one stretch of property? Trees, stars, deer, candy canes, Santa and a bush in every color. And these aren't even the worst I've seen...... just the best I could find through Google.
How do you fix this? Easy. Pick a theme in subject, then pick a color scheme and visual rhythm in which to execute it. Avoid bizarre scale discrepancies too. ( A local church does an annual Nativity that actually is pretty classic…….except that the camels for the Magi are the equivalent size of German Shepherds making me giggle every time I pass it.)
2: The Overdone If you believe that when seeking the best, one should listen to an expert in that field rather than an idiot, then ignore the philosophy of Clark Griswold and listen to Aristotle instead: “Moderation in all things”. There is simply no need to fill every available space with a light or prop. More lights will not mean a better Christmas. We have a house nearby whose jam-packed lawn looks like a shop for holiday props. To be honest I don’t think this is a taste issue. This is a symptom of a mental illness probably not too far removed from being “obsessive/compulsive” or being a hoarder. How to fix this? Get psychological help. If it turns out that you are not mentally ill…...then just stop being some kind of competitive asshole over lights.
This is a good example of both 1& 2.......or 'the overdone hodgepodge'.
3: IT'S NEW! Avoid falling prey to any new technology and trend. Just because some store makes it and your neighbor has it, doesn’t mean it looks good or that you need to have it too. The absolute WORST new trends in outdoor decorating? INFLATABLES & HOUSE PROJECTION!
"Oooooh! Where can I get one?!!?"
I might be able to forgive this if the owners have young children.
The more I think about it? No. Not even then.
I suppose if you've always wanted your house to look like the Christmas Intermission scene at a Drive-In................
4: ALL THUMBS Some folks are just cursed by an unfortunate lack of any physical ability to carry out installations. This is a sad one because sometimes the visual atrocity we see is not due to lack of vision but rather a lack of basic dexterity. Some people are just not handy…..and that doesn’t make them bad people worthy of being laughed at. But if you fall into this category, admit it…….and then ask, cajole, bribe, or plead with a more handy member of the family to help you execute your Christmas vision.
I guess it is a sign of realistic self-awareness to know when one is beaten.
In conclusion, I suppose it is every American's right to do what they want to their house for Christmas. And while I could protest a lot of what is out there as an eyesore (which people can lodge complaints against) the counter-argument is that I am also free to look away. But I won't. I'm going to look. I might even stare. And eventually.........I'm going to laugh. So folks, just keep 'em coming! Free entertainment is hard to come by.
You think I'm cruel? Tell me you didn't look at this and laugh!