Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Avoid Being “That House” In Your Neighborhood

Outside Christmas Decorating Tips

By Denise Turner, ASID, CID, CMG
Color Turners

Carolers are singing, shoppers are busily shopping and the Clark Griswold, want-to-be decorators are digging through their dusty attics. Yes! It’s Christmas again. This one is for the overzealous guy or gal who takes the Christmas a bit too far. Every neighborhood has one; a Clark Griswold like in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Even though we all politely nod and chuckle at their over the top Christmas spirit; we equally think of the excess. I wouldn’t want to be there to see the look on their face, in January when they open their utility bills. Possibly these individuals didn’t get the trend memo that everyone’s using their resources wisely. Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy “tasteful” and I repeat “tasteful” Christmas decorations as much as anyone.

So, if you’re my neighbor who lives around the corner and three houses up, or an aspiring Clark Griswold, here are some tips to avoid being “that house” for Christmas.

Safety First
Does your roofline make Santa quiver in his boots? Then hire professionals to do the job. Decorating with lights typically requires the use of a ladder and used improperly can lead to injuries. Approximately 2,500 people in the US are injured each year hanging Christmas lights. While we all agree that Christmas lights are beautiful, let’s not forget electricity can cause problems if not used properly. Christmas lights can get hot enough to burn or ignite other decorations. Cords can fray, causing a short.

Get A Plan
Preparation will save you time and reduce unnecessary trips to the hardware store. Measure and count garland, lights, hooks and ect.

Less Is More
Don’t over do it. This means don’t make your lawn levitate with multiple inflatables. Sure little kids love them. But seriously, a giant snow globe, a Ferris wheel, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause, Rudolph and a partridge in a pear tree.

Retro Metal Christmas Trees
The aluminum, 1960’s retro Christmas trees are popular again, but some words of caution. Never hang lights on them! The tree can short out the Christmas lights and cause a fire. The tree can also become charged with electricity and can shock someone. So if you don’t want to be the one responsible for electrocuting Santa Clause, be safe.

Please! No Music!!! Under no conditions is it appropriate to blare Christmas music from speakers out into the neighborhood. This especially means those songs by barking dogs or meowing cats.

Light Placement
Don’t just toss the lights around to shrubs and trees. Seriously! It’s not creative and it’s obvious that you were too lazy to drag the ladder out of the garage. Also use some discretion in deciding how many lights and what colors to hang.

Entry Door
A clear path to your front door is important and it should be obvious. Honestly your guests don’t want to wander over the candy cane bridge and through the Elf’s village in order to get to Grandmother’s house.

If you’ve not seen the 1989, Christmas Vacation, do so. It’s a "Top 10 Favorite Christmas Films" and my personal favorites.

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