Is your house on fire, Clark?
No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.
(National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
There is so much I love about the holidays. The music, Christmas cards, holiday baking (mostly the eating, not baking), shopping for presents and celebrating with loved ones. I also love looking at beautiful Christmas lights hung with care outside people's homes. I am usually happy with what I see, but sometimes, I see decorated-homes-gone-bad and I shake my head, wondering: "What were they thinking?!"
You know what I'm talking about, don't you? The people who shouldn't have bothered? I mean, I'm sorry - either do it well, or don't do it at all! Because I really don't want to stare at badly hung Christmas lights everyday for an entire month! Looking at decorated-homes-gone-bad is like having to work with someone who enjoys wearing tacky Christmas sweaters, you know?
Let me give you a few examples of decorated-homes-gone-bad:
Totally tacky home: The homes that try a little too hard and go out of their way to make their home look like the HAPPIEST CHRISTMAS HOUSE ON THE BLOCK! You know, the house with three giant inflatable Santas, a giant inflatable snowman, a few penguins, some reindeer on the roof and a billion lights in all the windows, doors and around the garage, as well as lights on all the trees, and candy canes lining up the driveway? Yup... this is the definition of a tacky and over-dressed Christmas house, and if I lived beside a home like this, I would cry tears into my eggnog every night.(Not that I even drink eggnog, I just though it sounded good to say that.)
Mis-matched home: Sigh. This is probably the type of festive home I dislike the most. It's the home that started off with good intentions, but for whatever reason (probably the cold) the person doing the decorating just gave up. I have some advice to offer here: Get your lights up early. That way, you won't freeze and just give up. This is the type of house that had potential but in the end, failed miserably. The house whose lights, hung across the roof, started off white, but then somehow, got mixed up and turned into coloured lights. Going from white to colour on the same row of lights is just totally wrong. Totally. Wrong. Where is the consistency? If you must, do your tree in white lights, and your house in coloured lights. Although, I would much rather see your house in either all white or all colour. Maybe that's just me? But still, mis-matched homes usually don't look good. Even if they're trying to be funny.
I-can-so-tell-you-rushed-this home: This one is pretty bad, too. This is the home whose owners felt bad that it was December 14th and they were the only house on the block with no Christmas lights hung yet. So, what do they do? They rush out to the nearest store, buy whatever lights are still left, and throw them - yes, literally just throw them - over their evergreen tree outside. We're talking. Half the tree does not have any lights on it. Just one side does. Oh, the horror! I have seen this before! It doesn't even make sense, but it has been done. And it's not pretty, let me tell you. I know it is hard getting the lights to go around a tree perfectly. But they have something called Mr. Long Arm to help you with that! It works for us and our ever-growing evergreen tree!
Are-you-pretending-you-don't-see-half-your-lights-are-burned-out home: Okay. I know it is frustrating when you plug in the lights to see if they are all working, only to realize that half of them are burned out. This does not mean your job is done. No. Do not give up! This means you have to start again, okay? Because really? Do you think it is nice to leave only half the lights across your roof, or over your garage, lit up? NO! It is not really okay. It doesn't look good. And I'm sorry if it means you have to go back to the store to buy new lights, but you'll feel so much better once you do. Your house will feel better. And it will make your neighbours happy, too.
I just wish people put a little bit more care into how they decorate their home for the holidays, you know? Remember: class over trash! Am I overly critical? I hope not... I just want things to look good!
For some ideas on how to get it done right, visit her. You know she's got great ideas, even if they might make you cry because you'll never be as good as her. At least, that's how I feel. But still, her ideas are beautiful.
As for my house? I'm happy with what we have going on. We have 3 large columns outside, and they are wrapped in perfectly spaced coloured lights, and acrosss the roof over our front patio, as well. Our big evergreen tree also has coloured lights around it. We used to have white lights, which I actually prefer, but since having children, we thought coloured lights would be more 'festive', and our boys love them! And we have a nice big wreath on our front door. Our Christmas tree can be seen from the front of our house, through our huge living room window, and our tree is decorated in white lights.
So what about you? Are you happy with how your neighbourhood looks around the holidays? Or are there a few decorated-homes-gone-bad near you?
Pictures taken from www.uglychristmaslights.com