Manners Matter: Santa Needs to Hibernate

Dear Mary Pat,


My neighbor still has their Christmas decorations up and it looks ridiculous. With the nice weather this past weekend, my wife and I spent a good portion of Saturday doing some spring clean up in the yard. We were really pleased with our progress, but the effect was ruined by our view of the plastic Santa near our property line, not to mention strands and strands of lights hung on the eaves and around their front door. They don’t have them lit, thankfully, but it still looks very unkempt. Would it be appropriate to say anything? We aren’t very close since they travel quite a bit and are here only about half the time.



Santa Needs to Hibernate

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.



Dear Santa Needs to Hibernate,


It sounds like your neighbors aren’t here long enough to take care of all that they need to. Seasonal decorations become an eyesore after a certain period of time. Their shelf life is about two weeks after the holiday, at most. It is especially noticeable since we are having unseasonably warm weather. It wouldn’t seem as offensive if their yard had two feet of snow covering it. Maybe your neighbors expected to be back before now and weren’t able to make it after all. There isn’t much you can do until they return but you could always offer to help them take it down when they are back. That would be a very neighborly thing to do.

And if anyone reading this happens to fall into the camp of leaving decorations up too long, ask yourself if maybe it wouldn’t be better to skip it altogether if your decorations aren’t always matching the correct season.


Good luck,

Mary Pat

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