It’s time for little baby Jesus to hibernate until the Easter Bunny is ready to help him rise from the Dead.
Before Christmas, we scoff at anyone without lights or wreaths, calling them Scrooges or Grinches and patting ourselves for making such clever Christmas allusions. However, a few days after the New Year has arrived, we start turning our noses at those neighbors still lighting up the night sky with Christmas cheer that puts the Northern Lights to shame.
So what can we do about these public enemies who decrease property values and give the neighborhood a bad name by making their Christmas decorations a permanent fixture of their home?
When your neighbors can’t seem to say goodbye to their plastic Santas and giant inflatable Rudolphs and Frosty the Snowmen, you need to bring heavy artillery in the battle against the everlasting Christmas. If it’s attention they want, then bring them all the attention they can handle. Create a Facebook event inviting all your friends to drive by “the last Christmas display in town.” Add a tagline like “Miss the holiday cheer already? Come see my neighbor’s everlasting festival of lights.” Make sure you schedule an exact time for the drive by in order to cause huge traffic congestion in the neighborhood. Invite a few attendees to park in the neighbor’s driveway and ogle the lights for hours. Don’t forget a few teens armed with baskets of uncooked eggs to present to the babe in the manger.
If the decorations are still up after your drive-by party, then it’s time to give them a taste of their own medicine. With B-list holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day coming up, you need to take advantage of the opportunities to show your own holiday spirit. Turn your home into a romantic’s dream by putting up all of the giant glittery hearts you can procure from every craft store in the nearest three counties. While you’re at it, mix the upcoming holidays together. Cover every inch of your yard and porch with pots of gold, shamrocks, and anything else green you can find. Your neighbor might mistake the green and red combination for yet another post-Christmas enthusiast, but once he spies the massive inflatable Cupid canoodling with a leprechaun, he should get the message.
Unfortunately, some neighbors are blinded by their Christmas fanaticism, so they might still not get the message that their decorations have overstayed their welcome. Now it’s time to turn their decorations against them. Literally. Go onto their property and turn around all of the figures, statues, and inflatables so they are staring directly at his house and into his windows. But don’t stop there. Arrange the Frostys and Santas and Rudolphs around the yard strategically, like an army assembled for an attack. If you want to go all out, you could even dress the various Christmas critters in fatigues and arm them with bayonets. Your neighbor will have no choice but to go on the offensive and eradicate the display in order to avoid the ambush.
Some Christmas-lovers won’t back down even when faced with the impending attack of a Christmas figure army. This is when you need to go into extreme sabotage mode, especially if we’re talking about one of those obnoxious displays synced to loud or unnecessarily aggressive Christmas music. Some easy methods of sabotage include stealing the timer, cutting the extension cords, or disconnecting the wiring of the outlets so that no power flows to the post-Christmas lights. If you are really desperate, you can arrange for their electricity to be shut off altogether.
Unfortunately, your Christmas-loving neighbors are savvy and will find a way to keep their displays alive. When this happens, you might need to get a little more resourceful. Launch your own “Christmas De-decorating” Company. Plaster signs around your lawn advertising your new business. Putting a few of those big company magnets on your car doors and hood is also a nice touch. Once your business seems legit, offer your services to the neighbor. Chances are, they’ll say they’re planning to “get around to it this weekend.” Don’t believe them. Instead, undecorate the display yourself, being careful to tangle all of the lights and cords as much as possible. Once the job is done, send your neighbor a bill for the service. Be sure to charge an exorbitant amount. $500 per hour should do it. Or you can even charge per light.
After the great undecorating scheme, there’s a good chance the decorations will appear again the next day. After all, if they have let it go this far, they might be trying to prolong the Christmas season indefinitely. Don’t be discouraged by such persistence. If your neighbors are going to play hardball, you need to respond with your biggest move yet. Start with a little harmless vandalism. Hang Frosty and Santa from the gutter with a Christmas light noose. Next, show them you mean business by kidnapping Rudolph and baby Jesus. Leave some evidence that you roughed them up a bit. Maybe drop a fake red nose on their lawn next to your list of demands. If they ever want to see Christ back in their Christmas display, they’ll give in to every request.
One word of caution: be careful about ending the Christmas season too soon. When March rolls around and you’re tired of winter and everyone is grumpy about another round of snow to shovel, you may just find yourself wishing for a little of that Christmas spirit.
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