Author Topic: Christmas decorations - bah humbug, tasteful and restrained, or Clark Griswold?  (Read 568 times)

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Offline Dave_Manchester

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The wife remarked to me that we forgot to put up the Christmas decorations this weekend. In my native country (England) we usually put them up once December begins, whereas where I live now it's done later in the month. I can't stand doing it (I'm clumsy with my fingers and don't like fiddling with things, so trying to get those bauble things onto the tree branches irritates the piss out of me), yet I like it when it's done. 

We seem to have a reasonable cross section of nationalities here and I'm interested to know a few things about your attitude to Christmas decorations. Namely: do you bother putting them up? If so, when? Have you done it already? Do you enjoy it, or do you do it only for the sake of others (kids, for example)? And most of all - what kind of stuff do you put up? A tree and a few elegant garlands, or can your house be seen from space?

Another Christmas question - how do you feel about carol singers knocking on your door, and what (if anything) do you give them? We don't get many anymore, it seems to be a dying tradition in England. Is it still fairly popular where you live?
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Offline Cool Chris

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Outside lights went up after thanksgiving, tree and interior decorations up yesterday. Love doing it for my 6 year old as she is at the point now where she was ready and willing to help. Most excellent time she and I spent together yesterday. Would still go to the trouble it even if I lived alone.

Exterior: Lights only. None of those silly inflatables. Interior: Basically tree and lights/decorations, and a smattering of other stuff in our main living area. Disclaimer: not a Christian and don't pretend to be one.

Never had carolers come by. Did it once with some friends in high school. Fun time, was generally well received.
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Offline rumborak

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Just one my way to work today I realized that I don't like colored lights on houses. White lights (even better, yellow) look great however. Dunno why, maybe it's the "snowy" aesthetic that goes missing with colors.

Christmas tree, different story, there you can have colored baubles. Not too much though, I want to see the tree. And no blinking either.

Inflatable installations mostly look like crap tbh, and half of the time the fan is broken so you just have some deflated carnage lying on the front lawn.
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Offline Podaar

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Traditionally, I put up outdoor lights (white, because like Rumby says, I'm not a fan of the colored lights for the same reason) the last weekend of November. This year I put them up a few weeks early--I'm not getting any younger and I don't need to be crawling around on the roof in snowy weather--but I didn't plug them in until this weekend.

This weekend I put up the tree (flocked with white lights), one of my granddaughters came over and helped me cover it in red and silver decorations. After she left, I distributed decorations around the house and hung lit-garland on the fence and arbor on either side of the house.

We'll leave them up until New Year's Day when they'll all get taken down and packed for next year.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Until New Year's Day? Interesting. I think the tradition in England is to take them down 12 days after Christmas day (i.e 'Twelfth Night'), but I could be wrong. That's what my mother does at least.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

Offline Podaar

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Yeah, I'd leave them up until the Festival of Epiphany (Jan 6th) too, but I'm a 'Mercan, I'd just confuse my neighbors!  :lol

Offline gmillerdrake

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We put our lights up the day after Thanksgiving. Outside I just do lights on the gutters, then our landscape bushes. All LED that slowly change colors. I have a couple white lighted deer that it looks like the Mrs. picked up sitting in boxes in the kitchen.....I guess those are going out as well. I also bought one of those laser projectors to hit the side of our house that I can't/won't put lights on (too high to mess with) So that throws some cool red and green light patterns up there.

Inside we have (1) real (1) fake tree, some lights across the mantle on the fire place and the main level is all Christmas decorated.

I'd prefer to skip it all but my wife and kids really like it so it's not really about me at this point. Once those kiddos are out of the house it'll be up to my wife to decorate because I'm retiring. Count me in the group of people who can't stand what the christmas season has become.
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Offline cramx3

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I'm not festive at all.  I have no interest in lighting up my house.  I used to help my father do it as a kid and never enjoyed it.  Sure it looks cool when it's done, but never felt like it was worth the effort. 

Also, it's been many many years since any carolers came to my house.  What I do really love is every year when the local fire department drives around town with santa on the back of a fire truck.  That, for whatever reason, gets me excited every year. 

Offline Kattelox

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The most festive I get is a small fake tree wrapped in colorful Christmas lights I keep on the dining room table, used to be my mom's. Other than that I do nothing. I don't decorate outside of putting up musician posters on the walls.  :biggrin:
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Offline ganpondorodf

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Don't care for them myself with one exception: Crap Tree.

It predates me and my older brothers, it was the first one my parents bought after getting married. It's plastic, about 4ft tall and has about four times as many tacky mismatched decorations, tinsel and lights as should reasonably be expected to fit on there. You can get pretty half decent fake trees these days but we're talking Northern Ireland in the early 80s here. It is truly awful but nothing screams 'Christmas' to me more than that tree. I'll be visiting later in the month so I'll try and get a picture up.

Offline Chino

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I love having a big Christmas tree and some decorations throughout the house, but that's about it. I don't do anything outside. I'm too lazy.


Saw this on Reddit.

Offline Phoenix87x

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I am FAR too lazy to do any proper decorating, but inside the house is a little synthetic light-up Christmas tree. It provides that warm Christmas glow to the room and works out well.

I do love christmas lights and the christmas ambiance though.
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Offline Logain Ablar

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We put our decorations up last weekend. It used to be a couple of weeks before Christmas, but now seems to be getting earlier and earlier. We have a 6ft tree in the front room that we just bought this year. It's in 3 sections and the branches fold out like an umbrella. Pretty nifty, and none of this searching for branches by colour or number nonsense.

We have another tree for the room in back of the house, where we'd be sitting most of the time. Sometimes we'd put outdoor lights on a small tree in the front garden, but we didn't bother this year. That's about it. We leave the decorations up through New Year, but they'd normally be down in the first few days in January.

Some houses in the street really push the boat out. There's one in particular that seems to outdo itself every year, and this year there is a massive inflatable Santa in the front garden. Way too enthusiastic for me.

Offline Kattelox

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There's a house in a nearby rural town that somehow syncs its lights to music on the radio and makes a whole performance out of it. It's a bit of silly fun.
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Online MirrorMask

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In Milan there's a big tradition of celebrating the patron saint of the city, St. Ambrose, on the 7th of December, and that's, especially in Milan, when it's considered common custom to go full Christmas decorations in the house... and have them last an exact month, until the 6th of January (Epiphany).

Maybe-not-so-fun-fact: the Epiphany marks traditionally the event of the three kings visiting Betlhem, their supposed remains were once kept in custody in one of the churches in Milan, and then eventually Frederick RedBeard took them away and brought them to Germany, where a proper church was built to host the relics - the dome of Koln, for you Lord of the Rings geeks, it's essentially the real world Minas Morgul, a wonderfully and majestically black gothic cathedral.

And I've been in both churches  :hat
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 09:05:44 AM by MirrorMask »
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Offline rumborak

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I have not been to the one in Milan, but I can counteract that with having been to the cathedral in Aachen, Germany, which claims to host the relic of the Holy Prepuce. (look it up and be amazed)
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Offline Cool Chris

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Well that cathedral is certainly at the forefront of Christian relics.
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Offline pg1067

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I would say I/we are somewhere between tasteful and Griswold.

We have a single story house and have give strands of white lights that run along the front of the roof.  On our front lawn, we have two wire-and-white-light reindeer and a sleigh that they appear to be pulling.  We also have:

A few lighted gift boxes
An inflatable polar bear
A couple other odd strings of lights
Rope lights running around the perimeter of the lawn
A white pole wrapped in garland and white lights with a lantern style light at the top

All of this pales in comparison to our next door neighbor, who probably has about three times as much stuff as we have.  He is a definite Griswoldian.

All of this went up this past Saturday.  It usually goes up on Thanksgiving weekend, but we delayed it a week this year because Thanksgiving was on the early side.  It will remain up until at least the first weekend in January.  It may remain up a little longer, but I won't have the lights going on every day if it does.

The inside of the house is generally my wife's responsibility.  This includes decorating the tree (which probably will come home this coming weekend), although I have a few ornaments that I have to have on the tree.

Now that our kids are both teenagers, I foresee things getting dialed back a bit in the years to come, but we'll see.
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Offline T-ski

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this thread needs more pics.
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Offline Chino

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This is our tree this year. It's probably my least favorite tree since we've moved in. We got a second couch for the living room (behind the tree) so it limited how big of of tree we could get. We haven't put any of the living room decorations up yet.


Online lonestar

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Personally I love decorations, and will do outings to the streets where the houses compete with each other. I don't really have the time to put up nor enjoy them in December myself, and it'd look kinda silly anyways since I rent an in-law unit from friends.
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Online El Barto

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Don't do any decorations myself. As for carolers I keep a pot of boiling water on standby at all times in case I need to scald some o them. Thankfully it's never come up, though. Caroling doesn't seem to be a thing down here.

I enjoy decorations and lights, myself. However, most people down here really suck at it. When you light the branches of your trees it looks nice. People down here just pay Mexicans to wrap the trunks with white lights and stop at 7'. Looks tacky as hell. As for houses I don't mind colored lights, but prefer a solid color. Blue is nice.

Block after block after block of this tacky shit.
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Offline Podaar

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My neighbor across the street used to wrap just the trunk of their large maple tree like that. I hated it, so one year I went and bought like 30 strings of red lights and wrapped up my ornamental crab apple tree from trunk to tip (in true Tim Taylor fashion) just to show him how it's done. It looked really cool when it snowed.



I wish I still had that tree. Bark beetles killed it a couple of years ago.

Offline Chino

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Here's a Christmas video I made 5 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDaSyXEF-Ns&t=7s

Offline New World Rushman

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We like to do it up a bit; front of house and a little of the tree and mantle:







Offline cramx3

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Here's a Christmas video I made 5 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDaSyXEF-Ns&t=7s

 :lol how do you wind up with so many gingerbread houses.  But good use of them  :metal

Offline Chino

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Here's a Christmas video I made 5 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDaSyXEF-Ns&t=7s

 :lol how do you wind up with so many gingerbread houses.  But good use of them  :metal

I worked at a deli counter at the time and we had a contest at work. We let the customers vote on their favorite house. After the holiday they were all going to get thrown out, so I figured I could have some fun destroying them instead.

Offline Nick

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If it was just me there would be nothing put up. Jennie decorates a porch a bit outside and puts some lights and things up inside but we don't have a ton of space and it doesn't go too far. As a bonus this year she decided with four cats there would be no tree (as opposed to the mini 2-3' tree we usually get), which I'm happy about.
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