CHRISTMAS DECORATING: Whats Tasteful and Tacky? What do you like and see in your Neighborhoods?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 21, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    Well last weekend we "awarded" our development's "Holiday Decoration Award" with a gift certificate. I serve on the Board for my neighborhood and that committee is one I head up. The award winner this year was a very tastefully decorated home.

    Last year it was a little different. The award winner was one of those homes who have lights everywhere, lighted blow up Santa's, lights on fences, outlining their yard.. it was kind of a mess in my opinion. I do have a neighbor around the corner with a mess in his yard. Probably if I were 12 years old it would be fantastic, but the guy has so much in there, you can't even hardly walk in the yard.


    So.. what do you see where you live? Lots of decorations? Are there any limitations on how you can decorate where you live.. I've heard some developments have limitations. What do you do personally outdoors?

    BTW, Merry Christmas to you.....

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    Dec 21, 2008 3:56 PM GMT
    First, I'm growing kinda disenchanted with inflated figures. Cute idea when new a few years ago, but getting out of hand with some people, and they're getting bigger & bigger. But very popular down here in South Florida with private homes.

    We seem to either have modest house decorations here, or totally over-the-top. Our own are just simple outlining with white lights, plus the house tree is visible from outside through the glass.

    In the 1950s my father would commission lawn figures to be built, with spotlights on them, but never too many. Every front-facing window would have an 8-light candelabra with yellow bulbs, that would take me forever to go around turning on as one of my chores (you had to screw and unscrew a bulb as the on-off switch). On different years the roof would be outlined in either multi-color or all blue, the outdoor bulbs the size of small lemons, very 1950s, very energy intensive.

    The mini-lights changed all that, and now some people go nuts. When I lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, one large home had a reported 3 million lights, with animated displays and so forth. Traffic would back up for miles to view it, and the neighbors went to court to prevent it, since they couldn't get in or out of their own houses. The case was still being fought on religious expression grounds when I moved away.

    Being gay, we should instinctively know the difference between restrained good taste & elegance, versus tacky excess. But likewise being gay, which one to choose is also a challenge... LMAO!!!
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    Dec 21, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    Wreaths. Are. Not. Tasteful.

    They belong at funerals.
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    Dec 21, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    In my province, many of the small towns string lights across the street from streetlight to streetlight. Combined with the decorations on each post, the small town main streets are enchanting and cute.

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    Dec 21, 2008 4:23 PM GMT
    The inflated trash that are sprouting on lawns are tacky, tacky, tacky!

    I also dont like strictly white lights. If a display is gonna have mainly white lights, something in needs to be decorated with color lights to break up the monotony.....unless the only lights are those "icicle" lights....then only white makes sense.

    Flashing lights are tacky, too. ...especially if one can easily discern the pattern or if whole sections of lights flash at one time. OMG! ... icon_eek.gif

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    Dec 21, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    ::: Writing down the Caslon Christmas light display protocol for future reference :::
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    Dec 21, 2008 4:27 PM GMT
    Fable saidWreaths. Are. Not. Tasteful.

    They belong at funerals.

    Wreaths are great....and make a great substitute for a christmas tree in the house. My florist surprises me with a decorated wreath each year...3 actually,....two plain ones with big red bows for the front doors....and a decorated one for over my mantel. I save the bows, pinecones and other decorations each year to use as decorations on my mantel and piano.

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    Dec 21, 2008 4:32 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said::: Writing down the Caslon Christmas light display protocol for future reference :::

    good idea....then you cant go wrong! .... icon_wink.gif

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    Dec 21, 2008 4:36 PM GMT
    Christmas is not a tasteful,subtle holiday. It beats you over the head with the holiday mallet. So I say, what not go full out?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 21, 2008 4:39 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidChristmas is not a tasteful,subtle holiday. It beats you over the head with the holiday mallet. So I say, what not go full out?



    Well for several reasons, James... for one.. I have to put it all away in the cold... I have enough lights out there right now! LOL
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    Dec 21, 2008 4:41 PM GMT
    Fable saidWreaths. Are. Not. Tasteful.

    They belong at funerals.


    Nah, I don't think that. Several of my gay friends excel at creating them, and one in particular makes a small business selling a few dozen each season, plus he gives a few as gifts to friends.

    Each one is different, all incredibly inventive, and treasured by all who get them, like limited artwork. Flower arrangements are also used at funerals, but that doesn't prevent their use elsewhere. The same thing with wreaths. A Christmas wreath on the door is classic, a universal symbol of the season.

    Funerals only? Bah-humbug!
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    Dec 21, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidChristmas is not a tasteful,subtle holiday. It beats you over the head with the holiday mallet. So I say, what not go full out?


    I agree with you when it comes to the Christmas tree, prolly cause that's what we did when I was a kid, so it's nostalgic for me. I can certainly appreciate & admire "designer" trees that look so perfect, perhaps all the ornaments identical, or all the same color, or using some other unifying theme. We even had those when I was a little kid over 50 years ago, and they may look lovely in a hotel lobby, but not for my home.

    My own tree is an outrageously overdone excess of everything but the kitchen sink, the more the better, with ornaments that have personal meaning to me, not thematic compliance. That's more my own personal Christmas tradition, for better or worse, and I make no apology for it.

    The outside decorations, however, are a different matter. There I do apply very strict design rules, perhaps not the same as Caslon's formula, but rules nonetheless.

    I won't clutter this discussion with my own rules, but being gay I think we all know when something is right versus wrong. It's either elegant and coherent, or it's not. It's either chaotic or it's classy, and you know it when you see it, if you have an ounce of gay blood in you.
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    Dec 21, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    I saw a house in town that was decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas stuff.

    I wanted to go hug the homeowner.
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    Dec 21, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    Inflated lawn figures are tacky beyond words. Thanks god they were all burried under the snow last week and prolly wont make a sightling until after Christmas when they get boxed or the thaw in mid march icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 21, 2008 9:29 PM GMT
    goodness, I'm so type - A that my lights (old school C7 bulbs) must all point in the same direction, must lie flat against the house, and must be in a straight line.

    I'm all for everyone expressing their love for the holiday in their own Clark W. Griswold kind of way I guess.

    If it looks like Christmas puked on their house, well, it's their house.

    I love living in a neighborhood without any covenants. Everyone pretty much follows the rules of general good taste - not what an Association Board defines as good taste.

    Now if it affects the neighbors, per some of the earlier posts, then I can see that to be an issue.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Dec 21, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    COJock1974 said
    If it looks like Christmas puked on their house...
    LMAO!!! Oh geez that hit the nail right on the head. Sums up my attitude perfectly. I prefer tastefully restrained decorations that work with what is already there.
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    Dec 21, 2008 10:15 PM GMT



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 21, 2008 10:16 PM GMT
    COJock1974 saidgoodness, I'm so type - A that my lights (old school C7 bulbs) must all point in the same direction, must lie flat against the house, and must be in a straight line.

    I think they have medication for that disorder now. ;)
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    Dec 21, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    hobronto said
    COJock1974 saidgoodness, I'm so type - A that my lights (old school C7 bulbs) must all point in the same direction, must lie flat against the house, and must be in a straight line.

    I think they have medication for that disorder now. ;)


    Better living through chemistry!
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    Dec 21, 2008 10:36 PM GMT

    I move between two different neighborhoods that are about 35 miles from each other - but light years apart in decorating taste. In the working class Massachusetts city where I have my business, most lawns look like the crash sight of a jumbo jet full of Christmas Crap from China. They're full of blow up Santas and snowmen and a mish-mash of blinking multi-colored lights. By day the blowup things are mostly deflated and probably scare kids because it looks like Santa was hit by a snow plow. At night the place scares grown ups by looking like a nightmare you might have after reading too many Wal-Mart flyers.

    I get some visual relief on the New Hampshire coast, where there are a lot of older (18th century) homes, Most are decorated in restrained, tasteful style that, in my opinion, looks great and offers some relief from what can be a very gray time of year.

    My own place in New Hampshire has white lights on the shrubs and a single white candle light in each window. When we entertain we usually light the walkways with lanterns placed on the snow, which gives the place a restful warm look. Then there was the one year when a gust of wind blew over a lantern and the freshly oiled wood deck turned into what has since become known as 'The Lake of Fire". That was Christmas Eve we'll never forget! Luckily noone was injured and neither the deck nor the house sustained much damage.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 21, 2008 10:42 PM GMT
    A white Christmas tree ... Silver Ornaments and and pink Feather Boas as garland

    .... and LOTS and LOTS of tinsel icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 22, 2008 1:24 AM GMT
    In 1978 I took a night train from West Berlin to Bremerhaven in West Germany. The train went about 100 miles through Communist East Germany, and there were the classic "papers please" checkpoints with severe East German guards right from the movies.

    As a US Army Officer I had an "Orient Express" sleeper compartment all to myself, with a private bathroom and all, but I could hardly sleep. Because outside my window, despite my understanding about atheistic East Germany, was a continuous display of Christmas lights as we rolled through the dark.

    Not the outrageous stuff we're discussing here, but modest little displays in farm windows, that in the desolate countryside through which we traveled were startling beacons in the dark I had never expected. And that meant more to me than all the mega-watt extravaganzas I've ever seen before or since.

    It's one thing to string a bazillion lights in the United States; it was another thing to have a simple Christmas display in a single window within a Communist state. I admired those brave East Germans more than I can tell you, and it gave me a perspective on Christmas decorations I carry with me to this day.
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    Dec 22, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    taste varies...putting someone down for it is tacky.
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    Dec 22, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    fluxu8 saidtaste varies...putting someone down for it is tacky.
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    Nah, putting people down is the essence of being gay. We put straights down, we put each other down, it's just what we do. Sorta instinctive.
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    Dec 22, 2008 2:41 AM GMT
    Growing up my parents loved the whole bazillion different coloured lights for the tree, and I cannot say how much I despise coloured lights. They belong only in tacky bars that serves nothing but beer. I always decorate my tree with white lights, a few tasteful balls, and some ribbon and bows, but nothing over the top. I say have fun with it, and as long as you appreciate it then don't worry about what other people say.