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christmas_nut

Neighborhood Spirit

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It seems today that (at least in my Neighborhood) that christmas spirit is lacking.

Every year fewer people put up decorations. I can remember when my mom and dad would take my brother and I out to look at christmas lights in not only the neighborhood but the whole city, and just about every house was decorated.

Now, well you might be lucky to find a hand full of homes withe a few lights strung out on a bush or banister.

After reading a thread on how to involve the neighborhood in a lighting contest I began to come up with my plan, but I've hit a few snags, so I'm looking for a little help.

I have hosted a number of car shows over the years and have found that you get a much better turn out when you offer awards and or prizes for the best of show.

I havent done it yet but I am planing to contact the local news paper and see if the are willing to help in some way. (ex. Run a story about the contest and have a "sign up e-mail address".and Print a picture of the winners house with a little back story on the decorator).

The snags I am hitting are these:

What categories should be presented? My Ideas Best display, first second and third.

Most lights used.

Best animated display.

Best use of color.

Also, should there be an actual trophy or is getting your house in the paper enough?

Do you think that a city wide contest is going to be to hard to pull off, or should I just canvas my own neighborhood with flyers this year and see if there is any interest.

This is something I really would like to see so all suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks in advance:D:D:D

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If you live in an area with a HOA, you might want to pass it through them first. 1 - they may not like the idea of a contest, or 2 - they may sponsor it (prizes include a free dues or something).

good luck

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That's interesting, I saw a lot more houses decorate in my neighborhood last year than the previous year.

I think the categories are pretty good, but unless you have several people who you know already own a Mr. Christmas, you may want to cut the animated display category. You probably won't find many (if any) people go to all the trouble to animate if they did nothing before.

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Some things to think about; If you go city-wide, how big is your city? Who will judge? If it's you, will you have time to go around your city and look at/judge every house involved? Have you developed criteria for every category? Is your criteria objective, and not subjective? If a local paper is involved, what, if anything, will they contribute logistically?

I'm not trying to discourage you, I think it could be a great idea. However, these types of contests are usually sponsored by a rather large business entity that has the resources available to pull it off. I would think small, for now, and go with just your neighborhood. Set the bounderies by streets, pass out flyers, and see what kind of interest you get. Work out the bugs on a small scale first. In time, you may be able to generate interest from the local business community and grow it into a city-wide contest.

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The snags I am hitting are these:

What categories should be presented? My Ideas Best display, first second and third.

Most lights used.

Best animated display.

Best use of color.

I think maybe that you should not do "most lights used". I think that might lead to some people just (literally) throwing up a bunch of sloppy hap-hazzard lights just to try to win that catagory. As we all know around here more is not always better. Also, it is not really a fair measurement. For example a set of 25 C9s puts out as much light as several sets of minis. It would not be fair to count someone who decorates with 4 sets of 25 C9s the same as someone who decorates with 1 set of 100 minis. (I think this falls into the realm of the objective vs. subjective point that Jeff raised.) I do like the "best use of color" catagory. (ANYTHING to get people to use more color!) Jeff also made some very good points about the potential problems with trying to do a city wide contest. You might even want to limit it to just your street for this year. Maybe you could put together some kind of social gathering where everyone could get together for hot cocoa and walk up and down the street to see all the houses that decorated.

TED

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Maybe you could add most creative. There are people in my neighborhood who have bigger displays than me, but they're just a bunch of inflatables. Anyone can do that! See what people can come up with, and if someone really does go animated, you could pull the animation award in the creativity category.

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I've offered a Christmas Decorating Contest for three years in a row. I started out with my street, then the second year added our neighborhood. I live in a small neighborhood of 8 streets, so that is what is manageable for me. My three categories are: Best Nighttime Decorations, Best Daytime Decoration, Best Mailbox Decoration. I send out a flyer Around Thanksgiving to every neighbor (I put it in their newspaper box under their mailbox) Telling them the categories and that prizes are offered and when the judging is.

I give them a Coro Sign that says 2010 WINNER/ Best Mailbox or whatever the category. I buy an outdoor decoration on sale as their prize. I only have to buy 3 since I have 3 categories. My price limit is $10 for each prize.

This has worked really well. No one decorated in my neighborhood for the 14 years I lived there until I did this. Now there are over 20 homes decorating.

I haven't offered a Halloween contest, but neighbors are now started to decorate for Halloween as well. It is as if I gave them permisssion to have fun!

I keep my categories simple. It makes it easier for me. Everyone that wins is really excited, and they are now competing to see who can win the most winning "signs" for their yard. I love it!

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And another thought I had. I was thinking of approaching the Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a city wide contest. They have lots of resources for businesses to suport the contest.

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Some ideas for categories might include:

Most Creative /Original

Best New Entry

Most Christmas Centric / Seasonal Representation

Best Traditional Display

These types of categories would give the judges a lot of flexibility in awarding prizes

Prizes might include

A yard sign - small like a political sign - announcing that they won a certain category -- get them donated

An 8.5 X 11 Certificate -- let them frame their own

A gift certificate from somewhere like Loews or Home Depot - get them donated

Just some thoughts.

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Here is a sample of my winner's sign, it is a typical sized political sign. the local sign shop charges $18 per sign, you may be able to find it cheaper. be sure to include the H-wire stands. they tend to be about 50 cents each.

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When I moved in to our house 10 years ago our neighbours didn't really have any decorations.

Now I noticed a few are getting bigger each year.

I guess it is no one wants to be the dark house on the street :)

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Thank you all for your input.

I have decided to only go with 1 category. Best display. It will be based on creativity and best use of color. I am still in good standing with a couple former employers who may donate a prize, 1 of which was the home depot. I'm going to have a 1st 2nd and 3rd place for best display. I have a limited budget so I'm hoping I can get the prizes donated.

I'm also still going to get the local paper involved somehow to generate interest.

I have a lot of work ahead of me but it will be worth it if the whole street is lit up.

Edited by christmas_nut
Bad grammer

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Here is a sample of my winner's sign, it is a typical sized political sign. the local sign shop charges $18 per sign, you may be able to find it cheaper. be sure to include the H-wire stands. they tend to be about 50 cents each.

Very nice sign.

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Thank you all for your input.

I have decided to only go with 1 category. Best display. It will be based on creativity and best use of color. I am still in good standing with a couple former employers who may donate a prize, 1 of which was the home depot. I'm going to have a 1st 2nd and 3rd place for best display. I have a limited budget so I'm hoping I can get the prizes donated.

I'm also still going to get the local paper involved somehow to generate interest.

I have a lot of work ahead of me but it will be worth it if the whole street is lit up.

Be sure to post pictures of the winners!

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well here in Nazareth PA, and the Lehigh Valley more people have decorated in the past 2 years then the previous, also our area population has tripled

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I can't speak for every neighborhood but decorated houses in the area around my house have tripled in the years since I began to go all out on my display. Nobody wants to be the grinch house not doing anything.

On a personal note, a trophy or plank would have motivated me more than a prize, or my name in the paper.

(You’d be surprised how cheap than they are)

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Well a couple of weeks ago I littered my street with flyers announcing the contest. And as I type this there has not been a single response. HMMMMMMMM

However......I was out for a drive with my son and noticed that well over half of the houses in the neighborhood are decorated. Im wondering if maby the word got out

that I was trying to hold a contest? Should I suprise someone in a couple of weeks with a trophy stating that they have won? Or should I just enjoy the fact that it seems that christmas spirit in my neighborhood is not dead?

Edited by christmas_nut
spelling mistake

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Well a couple of weeks ago I littered my street with flyers announcing the contest. And as I type this there has not been a single response. HMMMMMMMM

However......I was out for a drive with my son and noticed that well over half of the houses in the neighborhood are decorated. Im wondering if maby the word got out

that I was trying to hold a contest? Should I suprise someone in a couple of weeks with a trophy stating that they have won? Or should I just enjoy the fact that it seems that christmas spirit in my neighborhood is not dead?

FWIW, if it were me. Since I did pass out flyers and have apparently noticed an increase in decorated homes, I would definitely surprise the winner. Even though I didn't get any responses the end result was more decorated homes and that is what I was hoping would happen. It seems to me that word got around fairly well. Just my opinion.

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Well I finally got my computer back and was about to finally post the picture of the winners house,,,,,now I cant find the picture.

Im not very teckey so I hope some one can help. How do you find a possibley deleted picture? Am I able to recover it.

My wife deleted the picture of the camer. I hope Im not up the creek so to speak.

Ps I really dont want to pay a tecnition to look at it again.

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Well I finally got my computer back and was about to finally post the picture of the winners house,,,,,now I cant find the picture.

Im not very teckey so I hope some one can help. How do you find a possibley deleted picture? Am I able to recover it.

My wife deleted the picture of the camer. I hope Im not up the creek so to speak.

Ps I really dont want to pay a tecnition to look at it again.

I'm not a techie either. So my low tech idea is to check your computer's "recycle bin." For most things, you don't really delete them, you just move them until you empty the bin. If you've emptied the bin, you may be SOL.

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I'm not a techie either. So my low tech idea is to check your computer's "recycle bin." For most things, you don't really delete them, you just move them until you empty the bin. If you've emptied the bin, you may be SOL.

thought of that right after I wrote that. I think I am SOL.

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