Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mrs. Chicky's guidelines for holiday decorating

This time of year I love driving around at night, enjoying the effort that many people have gone to to show their Christmas spirit. I really like gawking at the brightly lit houses, and nothing pleases me more than that totally over-the-top house with the lights strung from chimney to walkway and everywhere in between. After years of doing this I have come up with my own guidelines for outdoor holiday decorating, because I enjoy forcing my opinions on sharing my love of the holidays with others.

You know what? Don't think of them as guidelines, think of them as friendly recommendations*. Yeah, friendly recommendations from a person who thinks she knows better than you how your house should be decorated.

Feel free to add to this list (and I will feel free to disregard your additions if I don't like them).

Enjoy!

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When decorating your home for the holidays you can't go wrong with white lights. You'll be announcing to the world that you lack imagination but at least your neighbors won't point and whisper about your lack of taste.

Also, if you're doing white lights, keep that theme. If you're doing colored lights, ditto. Mixing colored and white lights lets everyone know that you're lazy and couldn't be bothered to go out to buy matching lights.

If decorating your home with colored lights go with the multi-colored strings. Or you could go for the green, white and red ones, those look very festive. And they announce to the world that you love Italians.

If you decide to go with blinky lights I say go for it. Why not? Who says they're tacky? You should go all out and outline every window and door with those blinky little suckers. Especially if you have no problem with your neighbors having crazy light-induced seizures. Good times.

Nothing says "Peace on earth and good will towards man" more than a giant spotlight illuminating the obscenely large wreath on the huge front door of your McMansion. It also says "Hi neighbors! We're loaded and have lots of disposable income!".

If the lights on one half of your house go out, please fix them. Immediately. Looking at them insults my delicate sensibilities. There's nothing worse than a half-nekkid house at Christmas time and lopsided decorations, which, coincidentally, is what I call my tahtahs.

Plastic, lighted nativity scenes on the front lawn are tacky.

Giant inflatable snowglobes are tacky.

Fake, lighted palm trees are tacky.

Plastic reindeer pulling a plastic Santa on a plastic sleigh are tacky.

Put them all together, though, and you've got tacky awesomeness. Throw in some colored, blinky chaser lights and you'll have transcendent tacky awesomeness. With seizures.

If astronauts can see your house from space you have no right to bitch about your electric bill. Don't bring it up, we don't want to hear about it. Just keep your credit card number on file at the electric company so you won't be tempted to learn the amount of money you're spending on lights instead of helping starving orphans.

If you're going to the trouble of putting out lights on the bushes in front of your home at least place them nicely. If you just toss a couple of strings all willy nilly like you're just begging for someone to steal them in the middle of the night. I don't know who that someone could be, I'm just saying.

When putting electric candle lights in the windows be careful of the color you choose. Again, white lights are the safe bet. If you chose to go with red don't be insulted when people refer to your home as "The one that looks like that house from The Amityville Horror".

Same thing goes for strings of lights in all one color, like red. Unless you want your home to look like it was possessed, then in that case go right ahead. Just don't invite me over for a holiday party.

Decorating your home for the holidays is a competition and should be approached as such. There can only be one spectacularly lighted home in your neighborhood. You should consider it your duty to crush your neighbors holiday spirit by eclipsing their puny decorating attempts.

If you decide in the end that you just can't hang your lights yourself and hire a company to do it for you then don't be surprised that someone eggs your home. I don't know who, I'm just saying.

Merry Christmas!



*If you see yourself in some of these recommendations, don't worry. I see myself in some of them, too. You can guess which ones.

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If I haven't yet scared you away with my judgements I wanted to thank those of you who gave me such great ideas and help on starting my business. There's a special place in my heart for you and if you were to come to my home you'd be covered with wet, sloppy kisses. From my dogs. They thank you too.

28 comments:

scribbit said...

I've always thought those giant inflatable snow globes looked like a fun variation of a ball pit. Throw a few balls in there, get the wind going and bring on the fun.

Elizabeth said...

We drove around tonight looking at the Christmas lights, and I'm sorry to say that many of my neighbors are guilty of the crime of putting way too much lighted crap in their front yards. We saw lighted reindeer sculptures, lighted reindeer pulling sleighs, lighted angels with trumpets, it was just way too much.

P.S. Your tatas=lopsided decorations? HA!

margalit said...

People actually PAY for someone to come decorate their home? No way. You must be making that up. Because in my neighborhood everyone would do that. After all, they hire people to do everything else for them.

Lara said...

holy crap, you crack me up. i have nothing important or useful to say - i'm just wasting space in your comment section to tell you that you crack me up. if i could decorate my comments with tacky awesomeness, i would.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

You forgot the fully loaded christmas tree on the front porch and in each big room...We have lots of those in our town. That shows your disposable income tenfold.

Pattie said...

I'm trying to get past the lopsided decorations=tahtah's comment.... hmmm...heheheheh....

Anyway, yeah, I see myself in several of those. I like the white lights and the wreaths because, I can admit I totally lack imagination when it comes to decorating my house for the holidays. *LOL* Maybe I should hire one of those decorating companies to help me out! HA!

IAI said...

What about those HUGE blinking colored bulbs that people leave up on their house all year b/c it's too hard to get 'em down again? Seriously, growing up in NYC, there were people who did that.

Here in Calcutta they use blue icicles on their trailers. Tres chic.

Anonymous said...

I love to see those wildly over-decorated houses. Truly fascinating. But I cringe at what they must be paying in electricity charges to keep them going.

T. said...

My fur loving friend (and I'm not just referring to your pups) has lopsided decorations.

My mental image of you just keeps getting better and better. We will be the talk of the town, the two of us, when we finally meet up!

As for the decoration list, you forgot to add the Plastic Santa's, especially the ones on the roof. Because when I see one of those, I just want to run and grab my eggs...

Queen of the Mayhem said...

If you are a fan of tacky awesomeness, you must come and check out my post about my father's Christmas decorations! This is a man who had the electrician over twice to run new circuits for all his "pretties". We lovingly refer to him as "Clark Griswold". Very funny post!

carrie said...

And you shouldn't use those new led lights either, it's like an acid flashback! Not very Christmasy if you ask me!! Love your "recommendations"!

Carrie

jen said...

yeah, we are digging it too...my only snobbery is when people use those fake white lights that are supposed to look like icicles...in California. People, give it up - we live here for a reason, no need to pretend we wish it was snowing.

i'm just saying.

dodo said...

it was so excitingt o hear your news about your OWN business. I'm afriad I have nothing to offer in the business advice department. I do not even have a dog. (we are a three feline household). I cannot do anythign about the former, but, so help me, I'll BUY A DOG!

Waya said...

Blinking lights...guilty as charge! Did you see that house in W.Roxbury with all those decorations? I think their electric bill is around $10,000 a month or something like that. The owner said he's doing it for the neighborhood kids. Crazy man!!

penelopeto said...

I'd also love to hear Mrs. Chicky's recommended timeline for putting up and, more importantly, taking down the lights. Because I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to print these out and billet my neighbourhood with them.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Oh Mrs. C. We're singing the same tune about tacky. Love your recommendations and only wish more people could see them.

Kate said...

Mixed lights -- guilty! On the Christmas tree, of course. Because yes, I am too cheap and lazy to color coordinate.

Enlightenment said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
petite gourmand said...

you are too too funny.

we fall under the white lights only category.
yawn...

but would you mind if I printed this and passed it out to all my neighbours?
what's with those inflatable monstrosities and blinking multicoloured icicle lights anyhow?

quite the comment from enlightenment..

metro mama said...

I'm one of the white light people too. I do enjoy the crazy over-the-top homes though.

Heather said...

I'm guessing you would not approve of my LED lights that change from blue to red, hitting every shades of magenta and purple in between. Our tree is one small acid flashback, but of the 10 or so houses on our part of the street we're one of three houses with lights at all, so at least we're better than the scrooges!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Heather - I think your psychadelic Christmas tree sounds tacky-riffic.

creative-type dad said...

I've always wanted to get one of the giant inflatables on the roof of the house- the kind that car dealerships use

Mamacita Tina said...

Lights, lights, lights, gotta' have them. More, more, more, please! And please, leave them up until Valentine's Day, heck leave them up until Easter.

For us, red, green and white means you're Mexican! Feliz navidad!

ECR said...

My husband dreams of having one of those amazing light displays that hooks up to a computer so that the flashing of the lights happens in sync with music that one can hear by turning into a specific radio frequency while driving by. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmgf60CI_ks

Lawyer Mama said...

How do you feel about plastic flamingos pulling Santa's sleigh? Yep. Saw it. Wish I'd taken a picture.

I'm a boring white lights gal. They don't even blink.

Mom101 said...

You are my soul sister in Christmas decor judgment. Colored lights make me hate Christmas. Unless it's one of those insane homes in the suburbs that you make a pilgrimmage to because the sheer insanity of the decorating choices is just that worth it.

mothergoosemouse said...

You have hit the tacky nail on its tacky little head. If you are going to be tacky, be tacky with a vengeance. Be tacky with STYLE.

That said, I don't have money to waste on tacky. So I will have to covet my neighbor's tacky.