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A preemptive "dear neighbor" letter?


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I'm contemplating sending a "dear neighbor" letter to the few homes that surround me. Is this a good idea, and if so, what would be the thing to say, and how to say it?

Basically, I'd like to start out the (computer animated) display running from dusk to dawn, and then scale back if/when there are any objections. The letter would say something along the lines that it will be a computer controlled display, and to call if it becomes a problem?

I dunno. Thoughts?

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I agree with Bill, of course us Bill's have to stick together. :D If you do a letter, you are opening yourself up for the neighbors to think that they can dictate the way your display goes, so I would just spring it on them. Their are lots of theories on this but my personal thought is "never let them see you sweat". If you let them dictate, from the start, then they will end up thinking they can control the whole show, and when you put your foot down, they will revolt against you. From my experiences, "you" want to set the ground rules, and only "you" should change them, if "you" want to. Good Luck.

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jmccorm wrote:

I'm contemplating sending a "dear neighbor" letter to the few homes that surround me. Is this a good idea, and if so, what would be the thing to say, and how to say it?

Basically, I'd like to start out the (computer animated) display running from dusk to dawn, and then scale back if/when there are any objections. The letter would say something along the lines that it will be a computer controlled display, and to call if it becomes a problem?

I am not doing anything here this year because I got another project to work on. Since I moved back home (in the same area I was before) I have one neighbor that is all for it and an older couple that might tolerate it and then I found out someone talked of starting a petition to stop. I think it is funny, because if I did do anything it was going to be small.

If I was going to do something, I would see out a letter basically saying that they have rights too, but in order to exercise that right you need to call me (I would give them my number), but if you choose not to call me and are unhappy during the Christmas season, then it is not my fault. I am more then willing to listen to your concerns and will take care of them is they are reasonable. Please call me before the season gets started.

I think the persons that wanted to get a petition against me were worried about getting blocked in. That is so funny because no one goes anywhere on this street, but I would make sure they had my number and if they could not get out then they could call me and I would come and make a path.

In short, I would mainly worry about the people to the left and right of you because that is who you will see the most.

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darrylb wrote:

In short, I would mainly worry about the people to the left and right of you because that is who you will see the most.

In my case, the people to the right of me are great (we don't have anyone to the left). The issues we had in the past were from the people straight across, and the people right nexst to them.

-Tim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had not thought about a letter but getting a little gift basket together before the lights started with a note thanking them for their patience during the holiday season or something along those lines. I have not had anyone complain but thought it would be a nice thing to do. Has anyone else done this? Do you recommend or disagree?

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I am glad you started this post, as i also was getting ready to do the same thing in a couple of weeks.

I "think" don't quote me on this, because I am a pregnant woman of few working brain cells left, but Tim Fischer had a post last year of a REALLY good letter that I used and hand delivered to all my neighbors with an invite for Hot cocoa and cookie exchange for the 1st night of lights.

I was about to post a request for that letter... so if it was you Tim F. or if you know who has a good letter that they are willing to share, I would be so grateful to have it again?

I know I should have saved the letter, but long drawn out computer stories there....

THANKS.

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MrsLaFournaise wrote:

I am glad you started this post, as i also was getting ready to do the same thing in a couple of weeks.

I "think" don't quote me on this, because I am a pregnant woman of few working brain cells left, but Tim Fischer had a post last year of a REALLY good letter that I used and hand delivered to all my neighbors with an invite for Hot cocoa and cookie exchange for the 1st night of lights.

I was about to post a request for that letter... so if it was you Tim F. or if you know who has a good letter that they are willing to share, I would be so grateful to have it again?

I know I should have saved the letter, but long drawn out computer stories there....

It wasn't me, but I remember what you're talking about.

In the past, we delivered a gift basket to our immediate neighbors in early January after the lights went dark. For two years they happily accepted the gift with no complaints, even when prompted. Then the next year (with no significant changes in display or traffic volume)a couple of themwent to the city to complain, they, among other things, accused us of trying to "buy them off". So we don't do gift baskets anymore.

-Tim

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Thanks Tim... guess we will have to hope someone posts a good letter then :)

I feel so blessed then, that our 4 neighbors on the cul-de-sac with us loved our display so much last year, that they wanted to add their homes to it too this year.

Our neighbors all pretty much are good about the whole Christmas Light thing, they love feeling included, so we really try to make it all one big neighborhood thing. By giving them opportunities to participate, to give suggestions and to let them be the first ones to see the lights turned on. On Sunday night after Thanksgiving, we close the Cul-de-sac off and have a neighbor only xmas party. We do the cookie exchange thing, that way they feel like they are contributing and showing off too! Also, no one can accuse us of bribary ;-)

This year we aren't using a lot of the blow-ups and stake lights we used last year, so we have offered them up to any of the neighbors to use for their displays. They loved that! They don't have to buy anything, but they feel like they are participating.

:happytree:

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  • 3 weeks later...

As a New B to this, I sent out a letter to my whole block last saturday, since then when any of them drive by I get the thums up sign and a few people telling me "we cant wait!" I was really unsure of the reaction I would get from passing out a letter, but now its worked out great. My display turns on on Thanksgiving night and from what I can tell most of the neighbors will be out that night to see the display. So to throw in my 2 cents here....send out a letter let them know what you are doing, and ask them to contact you if there is any problem. I also told them I was adding voiceovers in the show to tell people to give my neighbors the right away and not to block their driveways. I know I cant please all of them....but at least there will be no suprised neighbors when the shows start.

Oh yeah I also asked if any of them had a favorite song to let me know so I can add it to my show....I wanted them to feel like they had a part in the show.....

Steven N Azusa

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Here is my neighbors letter for this year.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s almost that time of year again and I’m sure you have noticed my yard turning into a Christmas wonderland again. I wanted to take the time to thank you all for putting up with my hobby and let you know what’s going on this season.

This year my display will have about 21,000 lights and be running 48 channels of computer control. At full on, the display will draw about 90 amps of power. Once again, you will be able to tune in to my radio station at 95.9 FM where I’ll be playing Christmas music 24 hours a day.

The display lighting will be on Friday, Nov 24 at 4:30 PM and will run nightly from 4:30 till 9:30. I may run later on Friday and Saturday nights if the traffic warrants it , but the outside music will still go off around 9 PM. We will light up each night through New Years Eve.

We will have several exciting events happening during the month. Joyce and I wanted to do some good with the display so this year, we will be accepting donations for ChaD, The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. Santa Claus has notified us that he will be stopping in as much as he can to greet the kids to verify what they want for Christmas. We contacted a local Chorus group and they have agreed to come and do caroling on a night or two. I imagine the bus tours will be around again during the season also.

I’m expecting there will be more traffic than last year and I thank you all in advance for being patient with it. I’ll be running announcements on the radio not to block your driveways and such so I hope that helps. If you are having any problems, please come and see me and we will try to work them out.

Seeing the joy and wonder in the kids faces as they watch the display is one of the main reasons we do it. Talking with people that traveled 3 and 4 hours just to see the lights was amazing. Feel free to visit the display as much as you like and join the festivities. Make sure you tell all your friends and co-workers to come and see us too. I have directions printed out if you need some.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you all.

Brian, Joyce and Teagan Mitchell

Mitchell’s Magic Christmas

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