Love/Hate: Christmas Decorations

18 Dec

Welcome to the final installment of Love/Hate Christmas editions.  For today’s topic, we’ll explore the positives and negatives of Christmas decorations.

Love:

1)  Nativity Scenes. Now I’m not overly religious or anything but I just love Christmas decorations that include nativity scenes.  I honestly don’t know why though, I can’t put my finger on it.  I do, however, remember just falling madly in love with two distinctly different nativity scenes during my childhood.  The first was my Grandma Helen’s plastic lighted outdoor nativity set (a similar likeness although not the real thing) that she proudly displayed in her garage (a.k.a the hunky manger) complete with hay and a star overhead.  The second was a ceramic Precious Moments nativity set that was perched on top of my parent’s television set. Precious Moments are generally kinda creepy with their abnormally big eyes and such.  And, to be honest, the idea of them portraying the nativity is especially creepy because, as my husband puts it, they’re “babies having Jesus babies.”

2)  White Lights. I love houses decorated with white twinkle lights.  There’s something so magical and elegant about white twinkle lights.  I think that Clark Griswold would agree.

3)  Christmas Trees. I love Christmas trees!  If I could have one in every room of my house, I totally would.  I love the lights and ornaments and the presents that are usually underneath.  I love when city buildings change their lights and fashion a mis-shapened tree in the windows.  Above all, my favorite aspect about Christmas trees is that people love to show them off; so much so in fact that they set them up in their windows and keep the blinds open all night allowing you to voyeuristically peer into their otherwise closed-up house.  I love seeing what other people’s houses look like.

4)  Bulb Ornaments. Speaking of Christmas trees, I love bulb ornaments.  There are so many different varieties, like this or this. And they are all adorable.  And shiny.

5)  Edible Decorations. I know, I know, this is kind of a stretch in the decoration category but just play along for a second.  All sorts of goodies appear during the holidays and many of them are left just hanging around waiting to be eaten.  Exhibit #1:  Candy canes.  People love to decorate with candy canes.  We even put them on our Christmas tree when I younger and I always stole them from the tree to satisfy my need to snack.  Only the blueberry or watermelon ones though, I don’t care for peppermint.  The taste makes me feel like I just brushed my teeth.  Exhibit B:  Red and green M&Ms.  These festive looking candies always appear in crystal bowls on coffee tables around the nation during Christmastime.  Edible and decorative.  By far my most favorite edible decoration are these delicious, salty mixed nuts that appear on my mother-in-law’s end table each holiday season.  Two years ago, I ate so many nuts that, well, let’s just say, I was uncomfortable for a couple days.  Last year, I had to restrain myself from the nut eating because of an ill-planned cruise vacation shortly after the New Year.  Well, this year I’m pregnant and all bets are off.  Watch out, nuts.

Hate:

1)  Living Nativities.  Yes, I love nativity scenes but I just don’t really understand the point of living nativities.  So, real people dress up and pretend to be Mary, Joseph, shepherds and the like.  They stand there in the cold for hours on end to achieve what purpose?  To remind us of the Christ part of Christmas?  Um, my grandma’s plastic, lighted nativity did the same thing and no one got frostbite.

2)  Multicolored Lights. As previously mentioned, I prefer white twinkle lights over the multi-colored ones.  Just a personal preference.  However, I feel that one is more likely to commit the Christmas decoration sin of over-decorating when you’re using multi-colored lights versus the white ones.  Take this house, for example.  Doesn’t it look like Christmas threw up on that house?  I can’t help but think that it may look less offensive if those lights were white rather than a barrage of colors.

3)  People who insist on live Christmas trees. “Oh, but you must have a real tree!  They are the only way to go.”  Oh really? I’ve had my tree up since the weekend after Thanksgiving.  How long has yours been up?  Oh, it’s not up yet?  Because if you put it up this early, it would probably die by Christmas?  Oh and one more question, how is it sweeping up those needles and watering your already dead tree every day?  You’re right, the only way to go.

4)  Inflatables. I might hate inflatable decorations the most out of all hated Christmas decorations.  Nothing is tackier than a giant inflatable Santa… oh wait, yes there is, an entire yard of inflatable decorations.  Furthermore, nothing is more depressing than a yard of deflated inflatables.  It looks a like someone melted the Rankin-Bass studios.

5)  My husband’s nutcrackers. Yes, my husband collects nutcrackers.  Terrifying, creepy, we don’t really crack nuts, nutcrackers.  Sometimes I have nightmares where the nutcrackers awake and march into my bedroom and attack me, with this one leading the charge.  Eeek!

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43 Responses to “Love/Hate: Christmas Decorations”

  1. Slamdunk December 18, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Ha, the Mrs. is with you on the white lights versus colored. The kids tree with the only colored lights in the house is well hidden upstairs–away from her eyes.

  2. Matt May December 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    My parents never had a real tree, and to this day I’ve never had a real tree. When I once told this to co-worker, she replied very condescendingly, “Then you’ve never had Christmas.”

    Really? I’ve never had Christmas? I don’t know what all those gifts, lights, songs, church services, family gatherings, and cookies every year were all about then. I swear they had something to do with Christmas, but I must be mistaken. After all, I’ve never had a dead tree in my living room; therefore, I’ve never had Christmas.

  3. Parker December 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    Completely agree with you on Living Nativities.. and inflatable yard decor… painful and unnecessary. 😀

  4. shutterboo December 18, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    Love (3) – I would do the same. If I didn’t have to dust.
    Hate (4) – Why do they even make them? They’ve replaced the kitchy plastic glowing Santas.

  5. summer December 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    my neighbor has a spongebob inflatable. her husband and son adore it. she hates it.

  6. madmonq December 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I’m still stuck on that photo of Radio Raheem. That would make a fine header and don’t be surprised if I steal it as such one day.

  7. SallyK December 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Inflatables are really big, both in size and number here on the North Coast and it’s kind of funny because with all the high winds we have here next to Lake Erie they have to be tied down really tight! I think people use them because they are fast and easy, however I love a house that’s just covered with lights, the more the merrier, and some flashing, even if it is kind of tacky. I think I figured out why the other night – remember the scene in a Charlie Brown Christmas where they go to the tree lot and the there is a searchlight and flashing lights everywhere? I think it reminds me of that, my favorite Christmas special. Thanks for your love/hate series, it was fun! North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  8. shellie December 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I laughed so hard reading this. I knew I was not the only person in this world that disliked multi-colored lights and inflatables in the yard or home.

  9. My Social Relevance December 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I just don’t like that Christmas stuff comes out earlier and earlier. Really In october?

  10. chappy81 December 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    Hilarious stuff!

  11. josie December 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    well mixed feeling it shows love

  12. Jessica December 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    I don’t like multi colored lights that blink, it’s too busy! http://www.myteampicks.wordpress.com

  13. wellcraftedtoo December 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Used to like white lights quite a bit–looked different, and even a bit elegant compared to the colored ones. Then ‘everyone’ started putting them up (in my area, at least), and now they look contrived, as if these folks are trying too hard.

    It’s winter–where I live, cold, dark, and very gray. I say bring on the color.

    But just don’t use too much. You can overdo any lights–white or colored–some of the houses here are blinding, and probably baffle both aircraft and geese!

  14. Jeannette December 18, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    OMG i love your blog always. I also hate when people haphazardly or halfway decorate a tree or bush in their front yard so it looks like awkward floating lights.

  15. Lilla Ma December 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    I must say that living (”real”) Christmas trees is so much more cosy then a plastic tree. Sure, it’s more job with a living spruce, but then you also get the spruce-scent that just yell Christmas. More often the plastic trees just looking so… Plastic.
    Merry x-mas!

  16. astitchintime December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Sure a real tree is nicer and it smells great, but I really hate having to kill a perfectly good tree. Some places do offer a tree with a root ball so it can be planted later. I would prefer that way. Till I bother with that a fakeone will do. Hell, they come prelit.

    Oh and the lead nutcracker looks like it’s dangling dead little nutcrackers from it’s hand. That one is creepy, and I don’t normally have a problem with them.

  17. Somerset North December 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    I’m totally with you. I don’t get having lights that don’t twinkle. Why do they even make them?

  18. trinaramirez December 18, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    i love the xmas lights on houses and trying to capture the bokeh of lights… so pretty.

  19. ObammA December 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    nice post. well done. thanks for sharing.

  20. jingle December 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    honest thoughts, focus on FUN, freedom, and free time!
    Hope that you enjoy a good holiday season!

  21. cyndowney December 19, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    Love, love, love colored lights. I like white lights also (they are very elegant) but will probably always have colored on the tree.

    Had a live tree growing up, got an artificial as soon as I was out on my own, and then cut our own real tree this year. I am loving having the real tree. The feel, the smell, etc. No needles in the carpet, the tree takes less care than our pets ( doesn’t need water EVERY day) and I don’t want it up before Thanksgiving anyway.

    However, to each their own. How boring it would be if we all did the same thing.

  22. vagrantjack December 19, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    The only thing worse and CREEPIER than a live Nativity Scene is a robotic one as seen in front of a church down the street from me….its creepy walking home late you can hear the robots squeaking and moving!

  23. ktfrek December 19, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    haha. great post. the nutcrackers creep me out of my grandparents’ house every year.

  24. sunshinelollipop December 19, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    I like the white xmas lights on houses too.
    a real christmas tree is very nice but for the past two years we haven’t had a real one, as it isn’t practical with too young cats, they destroy it playing with the baubles! i think our fake one is still nice though!
    http://sunshinelollipop.wordpress.com

  25. the faltese malcon December 19, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    My neighbour’s house + garden look like 141 still photos of nocturnal fireworks.

  26. Kerri December 19, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    You could always do a Love/Hate about Christmas Day! Written when you’re recovering from eating too many nuts. Possible topics include commenting on various unwrapping styles (my dad is one of the slide-my-finger-to-break-the-tape-so-we-can-reuse-the-paper people…) or what you get in your stocking.

    As always, hilarious!

  27. Insurance Telemarketing December 19, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    We have a guy around here who puts in his yard the sleigh with santa inside and the reindeer, but they’re all white lights, and they move. The thing is huge and obnoxious. I don’t like it. They also put red and green lights on their water fountain…. Blech.

  28. gasangwa December 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    it is so so nice!!!!!!

  29. abbie December 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    I completely agree about the deflated inflatables. The appearance of a plastic massacre in someone’s front lawn is quite appalling.

    And I can’t wait until the day when I have a house big enough for multiple Christmas trees, each with its own theme!

  30. Jessica December 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Sorry…live tree = awesome.

    There is no argument. In my house, anyway

  31. BigLittleWolf December 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    I love my little shoe ornaments! And I love fruitcake, though it remains a topic of debate. (I will admit fruitcake + eggnog = holiday overload.)

    Entertaining post, and happy holidays.

  32. bri martin December 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Omg! I could not stop laughing when I read this. I love white and color lights. I too can not stand inflatables, what is their purpose? Oh and those plastic santa and reindeer w/sleigh that ppl put on the roof that is always hanging over. Real tree? Pine sucks!

  33. jthompson77 December 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    I competely agree with everything in this post. My neighbors have a hodgepodge of multicolored AND white lights (some of which blink, and some don’t)…it drives me absolutely crazy.

    As far as christmas trees…I’ve had both fake and real trees in my life and although I love the smell of a real tree, I’m all about the ease of a fake tree…especially the ones that are pre-lit.

    But such a great post. Kudos.

  34. cynwri December 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Really fun to read!

  35. Bethan December 20, 2009 at 3:27 am #

    My husband and I DIFFER massively on the Love/Hate Christmas Decs question. He is 100% pro “Let’s make it look like Christmas vomited on our house” and threatens me YEARLY about putting an inflatable Santa in the front garden. I say “Andrew – these houses ooze the nasty, over commercialised tackiness that Christmas has become. And it must be bad for global warming.” So he replies, “Bah, humbug! It’s for the kids! The kids love it!” But I think that “the kids” is just an excuse. Like when he got our then two year old daughter a set of Scalectrix and played with it for the whole of Xmas day himself!

  36. Kweli December 20, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    I love this post. The image makes it even better! Bookmarking your site 🙂

  37. Sytor December 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    I love Christmas decs…sometimes the more cheesy they are the better, dont you think? Christmas is about humility and making fun of yourself a little!

  38. magdalena December 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    So funny, so true! And we are with you all the way with nutcrackers. The old German ones or the character figures are kind of fun, one at a time…but we once lived in a house where the owner had a room, all year, full of nutcrackers, from bitsy to huge, and yes, I too had nightmares. Last year, I gave my husband a cheap nutcracker so he could smash it with a 10 pound maul and get over the cracker-phobia.

  39. 9ann December 21, 2009 at 2:04 am #

    Hoho~ Merry Christmas

  40. JeeBooM December 21, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    nice post. well done. thanks for sharing

  41. aya December 21, 2009 at 4:09 am #

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…like white christmas 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Christmas Luxe - December 20, 2009

    […] no blinking or musical décor, no blow-up Santas doing improbable things on your lawn (see Hate #4). Christmas trees are the focal point of a house when they’re up, so pay special attention to […]

  2. Mondoo’s Mailbag « 141characters - December 29, 2009

    […] top five posts of all time include the following:  Love/Hate: Christmas Decorations (2,105 views), Almost Hungry, West Virginia (1,762 views), Festival Foods- Not Fair, FABULOUS! (934 […]

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