Well, here it is; my favorite blog of the year. I truly love to drive around and look at Christmas lights. I also love to point out how way out of control some people get when decorating. Suffice it to say, some of you are still not paying attention. It’s not that I think the fewer decorations you put out the better, but for those of you who have read this blog the last few years you know that there are a few rules for tasteful decoration.

"Houston, we have a problem..."

“Houston, we have a problem…”

#1 rule: Don’t use every decoration you have. I mean really, if planes are diverting from their flight paths because they think your yard is the runway, you have too many lights out. If your electric meter is spinning so fast you can barely see it, too many. If you get accolades from the International Space Station, too many.

100_0389Here is a local example from near where I live. It is neatly done and the lights are straight but good Lord! This falls under the; “You don’t need to put out every decoration you own,” category.  Yes Virginia, it is a blinding mess. It is not the worst one I have ever seen but for all intents and purposes, it’s very loud and almost painful. I also hate the lighted shapes. They are really ugly and you can get away with one or two tastefully selected ones but some people go way, way out of control.

Really? Are you serious?

Really? Are you serious?

Lighted shapes are ugly and if you live in a housing plan with a covenant, this could get you tossed from there. Of course, if you live in a nice neighborhood this could get your house egged or vandalized in some other way. Decorating your house like this can make property values in your entire neighborhood drop. Thankfully there are no houses decorated like this near me, this year, but there are those who have no idea that they are committing first degree eye-slaughter for doing this. Now hopefully I’m not giving you the idea that I abhor certain kinds of decorations and will hammer anyone who uses them. Not true. I like all kinds of decorations but if you misuse them, I will let you know about it. I guess it’s just like anything; moderation is the key. If you go overboard with anything it is not good. Christmas decorations are the same way. I feel that decorations are meant to heighten the holiday experience, not horrify and frighten those exposed to them. I know some of  think I’m out of my skull but nonetheless, I enjoy doing this and I will probably continue.

Someone give me my Red Ryder BB Gun...

Someone give me my Red Ryder BB Gun…

Inflatable decorations can be attractive and a nice way to decorate if you are short on time or room. But I digress, This example of what not to do with inflatables is one I could consider an extreme case. However it is not the most extreme. I guess my next pet peeve with these kinds of decorations is that you should make sure they are working properly. Lights burnt out, not inflated or laying over in your yard make your display look like something out of “Hllbilly Digest”.

"Man down! Man Down!"

“Man down! Man Down!”

Like I was saying. Make sure your your inflatables  are properly working and secured in your yard. This little scenario could be very traumatic to some poor little tot who would happen to see Santa laying in your yard. Now our weather has been a little funky the last couple of  weeks, but I know even I will periodically check my decorations mainly to be sure they haven’t blown away but also to be sure they are still where I put them to start. The last thing I want is to find my reindeer across the street in my neighbors yard. Now this year I saw a new inflatable decoration that I think I like as much as Santa in the trailer; Santa in an outhouse. I thought it was really funny and will probably seek one out. I still threaten my neighbor that I’m going to get a Santa on a Harley inflatable.

100_0379I guess the next peeve I have is lights. People, lets make sure they are working. some people have their decorations out from Thanksgiving or earlier but if you are going to do that you will more than likely have to perform some maintenence on them. I know myself I have a couple of bulbs out that need replaced but it is not really noticeable. This example to the left is really obvious. Another one I’m not sure I took a picture of was the mixing of lights. LED is the new craze and that is fine. I don’t like the mix of LED and incandescent. The light from the LED is harsher I think and doesn’t go well with the Incandescent. However, the blue LED icicle lights seem to go with the white incandescent lights the best. My wife likes to decorate for the season, not just necessarily the holiday and we use blue for winter so the blue LED icicles would be a nice addition to our winter themed house while the snow flies.

As I get ready to end this I guess it’s not fair that I’ve only shown you the bad and the ugly. It would only be fair to show you the good as well.

While we usually do red and green, this is a nice example of blue and green

While we usually do red and green, this is a nice example of blue and green

Some people still like the retro look of the big C-9 bulbs. I do too.

Some people still like the retro look of the big C-9 bulbs. I do too.

No matter where I see it, you have to love the leg lamp... It is a major award.

No matter where I see it, you have to love the leg lamp… It is a major award.

How to string lights in a tree. Use icicle lights... Nice job!

How to string lights in a tree. Use icicle lights… Nice job!

Another nice use of white lights.

Another nice use of white lights.

I make a point to go see this display every year. What a nice job.

I make a point to go see this display every year. What a nice job.

As I leave you for yet another year I plead with all of you to safely decorate this year. Remember, you are not the only one who will see your display. Let’s stop those needless decoration injuries from those exposed to the most hideous. I hope you all have a nice Christmas and New Years and with all the chiding I did here today, lets keep the true meaning of Christmas in the season and keep Christ in Christmas. Peace to all from all of us here at ATCMC.

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