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How to get a little competition in the neighborhood


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When I was a kid, everybody decorated their houses with lights. Now it seems like no one has the Christmas spirit anymore. Where I live now, the family across the street from me put up their lights, icecicles on the roof, lights on the bushes, a snowman blow mold, a couple soilder blow molds, and a santa and reindeer on the roof. All their lights are clear, all mine are multi colored. Thats about it, a few people down the road put up a few strands, but nothing I'd call putting some effort into it. How can I get people to get in the mood, and put up some lights. I have been in my house for 2 years, this will be my 3rd Christmas, everyone likes the lights, I haven't had any complaints. I just want to see alot of houses with Christmas decorations.

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Yes Skippy,I know exactly what you mean. My b/f and I went looking at Christmas light's last year and next to no one had anything displayed.It was a sad sight indeed.

I'm 47 and recall how people used to go all out in decorating.

Sadly I'd just about guess that a lot of it has to do with the extra cost of running light's.People being out of work or on a budget and have to put their priorities in order of what is really important.

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Sadly I'd just about guess that a lot of it has to do with the extra cost of running light's.People being out of work or on a budget and have to put their priorities in order of what is really important.

Plus I think the world today is just getting lazy. I hate to think its heading towards a "why should I do it for when I dont get anything out it" mentality. I am beginning to think that though...sadly

My neighbors looked at me weird when I spent 15 hours outside one day putting up my display....It was 11:30 pm when I came inside....:)

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What I am doing is a (my street) Christmas Challenge.

With each poster about the Christmas Challenge, I will include a small

25 strand ot minis that I bought for 25 cents each after christmas. There are 22 people on our block, so it didn't cost me much. In the Challenge, I challenged them to show their Holiday Spirit by decorating, and I will have someone judge the event, and hand our awards for Best Night display, Best Daytime Display, Best Religious Theme, Best overall.

I'll make Coroplast Signs for each with a Stand for them to display their win in their yard. I'm hoping it will work!

I, too, remember when I was young how everyone decorated. It seemed to have stopped with the Jimmy Carter Administration when one year everyone was encouraged not to put up Christmas lights. It seems the country never really recovered from that dismal idea.

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I'm only 28, but I have been decorating my yard since I was 10 maybe younger. My dad always did it, then when I got older, I would go out and help him, then I started doing the yard on my own. I lived in an apartment and decorated my patio, I lived in a house in the country with one neighbor on a gravel road and decorated. I work second shift and don't get off work until midnight. Last year, when I got home from work, I would be putting lights up at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. While everyone else was asleep, I'd be on the roof decorating.

Maybe I'll try to give away some lights to get the neighbors started. Maybe they'll get bit, and try to keep up with me...

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Remember, for most of us here it is a hobby that we really get in to. Granted, it doesn't take much for people to put a few lights. Then we see the posts that say my neighbors only threw together some lights and it looks horrible, why bother. Where I come from it starts getting cold early November, alot of these people aren't going out in the cold to put them up. Since it is a HOBBY for me I start early so the cold isn't a factor. It's just like people that put a ton of time in to their lawns to make them look like a carpet. With them it's an obsession just like lights are for us. They probably think the same about people who don't take care of their lawns.

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I had a neighbor in my old "Hood" who would chew me out every year. His Wife always would get on him for not putting any effort into their display. He was happy to see me move!! My new neighbors are the same. I got "him" in trouble last year. JUST WAIT FOR THIS YEAR!!! (evil laugh,,,evil laugh!!!)

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This probably has happened to others.

Each year, the town would have a decorating contest. After going with a D-Light setup back in '06, I noticed that last year not that many people had decorations out. Come to find out that my display "intimidated" :rolleyes: people to where they didn't think they could win the contest! Never mind the little fact I never entered the silly things anyway.:D So, just to get folks back to decorating (even if they do it for the wrong reason), I publicly disqualified myself from the contest.:D

Just hope this little ploy works!

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Hi, I once read an article that stated how many people complained about the removal of the nativity from public buildings. The person who wrote the aricle made a statement that if we as individuals were so upset why then don't we practice what we preach and light up our homes and add a nativity ourselves. My friends and I were discussing the article when we realized okay he's a jerk but in a way he's right. Not that we didn't already lite up for Christmas and display our own nativities but how about all those others and their are many who don't. We agreed that some can not afford to do so and appreciate the ones in public places but others just like to complain. My solution: whenever I get an extra blowmold nativity and I have gotten a few, I give them away. So far in the last year I have given 2 empire and one small one to three different families. I hope to encourage them to keep adding lights etc. Don't get me wrong I don't go out and buy them sometimes they are included in small lots off craigslist and one was my own till I got my life size poloron nativity. I vow to continue. I do not give away my other blowmolds just the nativity. I had one exception last year when a 10 year old told me his Santa was stolen off his front stairs and I had a double to replace it. I'm not trying to blow my own horn just trying to get others to light up and remember it's okay to show how they really feel about the meaning of Christmas.

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When my grandparent's moved to my neighborhood in 1975 every home decorated their houses with lights. They also lined our street with the paper bags and candles. It was pretty neat because we live on a main street so a lot of people got to see it.

Now, a few of my neighbors put a couple of strands up but that's about it. Most of them are older and say, "Why bother," especially since we live near you.

I decorate a few of the older folks houses that still want to participate in putting lights up. I would like to get the paper bag tradition going again though. I think the would be neat! Maybe use some c7's to light the bags instead of candles.

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wow I'm sorry not many other people out there put up lights. Downhere in the panhandle of FL we decorate alot i am always happy when i go down our street and 50% of the houses have atleast a decent ammount up and some have more some have less but i'm happy that its not only me. too bad it seems to be that way for some of you

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Last year, some magazine (cant remember which) did an article about strategies to get people involved, to show a little neighborhood spirit.

One person had a plastic light up santa or elf, and attached a little poem.

You are supposed to leave it at someone's house with a little Christmas message, then they are supposed to put it in someone elses house on the same block... on Christmas it's supposed to disappear, then re-appear the next year... All to show Christmas spirit.

I can try to find the poem if anyone is interested

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Even if its not my whole neighborhood, just at least the houses around me would be good. That way I'm not the only one that looks crazy, LOL. Like I said, the guy across the street decorates, it looks good, but nothing you would stare at in amazement. I think he would be pretty easy to get something going with, I think there may be a little competition already. Last year, I noticed he would put lights up, then a few days later he would have new lights. I think they were going and buying more decorations because everynight after work I would be in the yard putting lights up. Last year I started putting lights up on Thanksgiving, and I kept buying inflatables, lights, signs, etc and putting them up until Christmas, I think I even added stuff after Christmas... Just to see what I would do with it the next year.

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Found it!

Here's what the article says"

It all started 3 years ago, when one of Karen Galadick's neighbors slipped an immuninated plastic santa onto a friend's porch, along with a note to pass him along. Soon, he was being shuttled in secret onto front steps and rooftops, and up the occasional tree adding a dash of holiday merriment wherever he appeared. He's become a favorite of the neighborhood kids, who put special effort into sneaking him around. "You never know where he's going to appear, says Karen. Sometimes, he even shows up during the summer. Gives new meaning we think to "you better watch out".

(sorry for typos, have kid in my lap)

Now, as far as the poem, I cant find it.

Here's one I just made up though; (dont make fun of me, I know it's dorky, LOL)

One, two, 10 houses away

surprise some neighbor the very next day.

Pass me around the whole neighborhood,

so I can report to Santa all who have been good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That Santa sounds like a GREAT idea. :)

Something similar I heard of back in Lakewood (near Denver), Colorado that was done by my old high school. Some thing like a flock of 100 pink flamingos or the like (had to be VERY tacky) would show up in your yard and for a fee you got to choose where it went to next. I believe it helped fund the choir.

In the city that would work. Out here in the country, they could put the flamingos or Santa on our property somewhere and it might take months before they are found! Espcially if it is around my railroad! I really need to get back to work on THAT. ;)

Great ideas ya' all!

-Rob

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