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mskathie32

The Christmas Blues!!

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Hello! My name is Kathie and I have a Christmas display that I call "Kathie's Lancaster Lights" I have been doing my display now for more then 10 years and I believe in my eyes that it's getting bigger and better with the little knowledge I know. I do this display on my own as I am a female and get basically no help.

Well I had entered our area Holiday light Christmas lights contest for Children's Theme. I found out yesterday that even though my yard is full of wonderful children's items and even Christmas children's music my home didnt win. I want some kind of recognization because its always been a huge goal to make it on the news or something. I even contacted the news but they haven't come. They always go to the little set ups. I dont understand it. I do build a lot of my display but I must have a screw loose because I really believed my display this year was really great. I do believe I needed more lights but I have to work harder on where to put them because our home is all stucco.

The reason that I am writing this is because we all here at planet christmas is to achieve the same goal. To make the children and families happy. It makes me so happy to turn my lights on and now I am so bummed and let down that I didn't win. It was my first contest and I doubt that I will enter another since they added that anyone could vote so it might have been just that. They voted online ALOT!!

So I am going to send pics of what my yard looks like and if anyone would please give me feed back on how to make this all better I would love it! Also. the way that I do my fence. I think it's taking away from my display as well. I dont know what else to do besides the fence to keep people out. I can't get very good pictures because the fence takes away from the lights. I have close to 6000 which I know is not alot but in a little area I thought it would be fine this year. I will add more pics just have to resize them.

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Kathie,

The one thing you can almost never count on is how people will vote in these contests. As much as you might believe you have the first place yard, you just never know what will happen. I've had many people tell us we should win the neighborhood contest also, but haven't won yet. I've given up on the contests and just focused on making a nice display that people enjoy. The little neighbor girl (4 years old) across the street makes her dad bring her over each and every night to see the lights. Things like this are what we strive for in our displays. If you go just for winning a competition, the fun will fade fast and you will be disappointed.

Your display looks really nice with a lot of different stuff involved. All I can suggest is to keep making those improvements each year and you will get noticed when your time comes around! Hang in there because I know people like looking at your dipslay, even if they don't give you a trophy. :D

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First let me say anything I write here is meant as constructive criticism and personal opinion. If the main reason you're doing you're display is to win contests and get media recognition, maybe you're motivated by the wrong things. Of course we want people to complement our hard work, it's human nature, but if you and yours enjoy it, that should be all that matters.

What I see from your pics is as follows:

1) If you have to have a fence, that's no big deal. I would, however, get the lights off of the fence. It creates to much visual distraction from what's behind it. Without the lights, the fence will become more or less invisible.

2) The front yard looks very cluttered. Make individual scenes separated by some space. This will give a more visually pleasing appearance rather than looking like too much stuff in too little space. If it means not being able to use all of your elements, so be it. Less is quite often more.

3) Get more lights on the house. At the very least, outline the upper level roof line as well as the lower level. With lights only around the lower level roof line, it gives the house an incomplete look. Lights around doors and windows will also help.

4) I can't tell from the pics how much space you have on the left side of the house. If you have some space, move some of your display there to give it a more balanced look.

Hope this is the kind of feed back you were looking for.

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Kathie,

I agree with LCGreg. I to have never won first place in our community contest here, I have always come in second and people always ask me why don't I win and bash the other persons display. I just tell them that people see Christmas diffidently and I don't put up my display to come in first place and even try to get disqualified by putting them up early. I do it for everyone to enjoy and I have a good time doing it. And then I get how much they do enjoy seeing it. Right there hearing that makes me a winner. I love what you have done with your display and keep making those small changes each year. Your time will come. Merry Christmas!

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I used to go visit a house every year that really SHOULD and COULD have won first place in any objective static Christmas lights decorating contest. Now that said, this person never entered into any contests nor wanted to. I felt his motives were true, but most people could not understand his lack of desire to compete in these contests. I was one of the people wondering why he didn't enter.

I am kind of hearing a couple of things from your original post, as I think others have.

#1 ... we all here at planet christmas is to achieve the same goal. To make the children and families happy.

#2 ... my home didnt win. I want some kind of recognition ... I am so bummed and let down that I didn't win

I think your feelings are totally natural and understandable.

I think most people are often finding themselves with both #1 and #2 desires ... and #2 being a general desire for some form of recognition, as noted in your comment#2 above. Some people think its either (a) winning a show/contest, (B) getting lots of viewers/traffic, © getting in the newspaper or (d) being on TV.

I think that most of us can all be happy achieving some flavor of #1 ... but usually disappointed with a lack of #2 or what success on item #2 gets us (traffic, troubles).

I think you will be happier if you just focus on what you have done for the last 10 years and don't worry if you win any contests or not. There are probably people around you that drive by and find your house a big part of their Christmas ... and you will never know them or even hear from them. But are you making a difference? Yes.

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Keep decorationg because you enjoy it, there are many people that enjoy your display.

Unless you stand out all night long you won't know how many people look at your display.

I would stop and look at your display if you were in my area.

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It is more of a joy for me to have families come to the grocery store I work at and give me a compliment on my house. yes I have won the local contest but seeing the look on the kids and parents face is a better compliment for me. I do it for myself and others to look at, not the contests.

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I thank you all for your advice!!! I really do!

I want to do small themes next year where my display wont be like it is set up now. My issue with the fence is that I put the pvc fence up to keep everyone out. I know if they want in they will get in. I am working on getting a smaller 4 ft fence this year and only putting lights onlong the top. I am trying to find out how much a cherry picker will cost to get the lights up on the top second story of the house. We arent allowed up on the roof due to it will break the tiles and our insurance on them will be non in void. The reason I havent done the lights on the second story is our city has a law saying we have to have the lights down 14 days after the holiday. I can't afford to get a cherry picker twice let alone once. My home is made of stucco and some styrofoam stuff I am going to attempt to see if I can put a wood frame inside the window without hurting the styrofoam so my hubby doesnt kill me. I can't afford to buy alot of the store bought stuff so I like to make my stuff. My next year goal is to do more lights that blink and movers. I have to learn how to use motors and how to make things that make it all work. My husband doesn't know any of it so he doesnt bother to help me.

I again thank you for your thoughts, its really helped me rethink my Christmas display. Merry Christmas!!

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