Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hopping Down The Tacky Trail

by admin on April 4, 2013

I heard the story in the following link on the radio while driving to work this morning and thought that it was a good fit for your site:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/03/30/ns-tacky-easter-decorations-dartmouth.html

I’d like to know what the EHell community’s opinions on this story are. Personally, I find the anonymous letter-writer the rudest and tackiest participant of the whole thing. The neighborhood in question is not a condo complex where homeowners have rules about what they can and can’t decorate their property with. Easter decorations seem like an odd thing to cause conflict over. 0403-13

If there are no restrictive covenants delineating what is tasteful exterior house decor, then each homeowner can express their holiday decoration choices in freedom.   With freedom, however, comes a responsibility to act with some restraint and decorum in regards to not offending one’s neighbors.  For instance, I have a strong dislike of Halloween decorations in yards that include dead bodies hanging from nooses in trees, charred bodies and more recently seen by me, infant and child-sized mutilated zombie bodies or skeletons dressed in infant/children’s clothing.  Just incredibly insensitive and gross.

That said, I think homeowner Lori Perron’s choice to retaliate with even more decorations she herself describes as “tacky” is puerile and deliberately intended to inflame further any neighborly angst going on.   It’s one thing to decorate to your tastes and what makes you happy and stand your ground but to add more solely in order to be obnoxious marks her as another drama queen in my opinion.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily April 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Wow anon letters are just creepy and gross.
If the letter-writer is watching this: SHAME ON YOU!

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Marozia April 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

If we treated every day as ‘just another day on the calendar’ we’d have nothing to pass the year by. I like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and other decorations. Tasteful, not tacky. All the family gets in on the fun of making them and decorating their house and yard. Feelgood family time!
I feel pity for the letter writer. What a boring, dull life you must lead, to have to criticise your neighbour over a few Easter decorations. Get over it!

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David April 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

The problem with anonymous notes complaining about trivia is they skirt the edge of the poison pen letter. “Not good enough for the neighborhood?” – completely distasteful.

If I were Ms. Perron’s neighbor and found out someone in our neighborhood had written her something like that, I’d be asking where she’d bought her decorations because I’d be decorating my house that day.

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Bottlecaps April 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

By the standards with which I grew up, those decorations are considered tame! (My aunt goes all-out for the holidays – light up figurines, lights, window clings, the whole shebang!) Shame on the person who wrote the letter – not only did they presume to speak for the entire community, but they personally attacked this woman and her family by insinuating that they are not good enough to live in that neighborhood. I say if you want to decorate, by all means, decorate – it’s your own yard, do as you like with it. I think her decorations are lovely!

Oh, and @Cammie – Love that show. :)

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Sansa April 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Calli Arcale- I thought it was a good thing that the dog let us know about late night walkers until the letter. I understand that an incessantly barking dog would be a nuisance but Chunk isn’t like that. He only barks if he sees people walking or loitering late at night. You can walk by all day and unless you call him or get really close to the fence or the kids, he pretty much ignores you.

Nothing else has ever been said and the other neighbor is a friend who would have told me so I pretty much forgot about it until today’s post. :)

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otterpop April 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm

to be blunt, i fail to see how this is at all newsworthy, and agree that behavior on both sides is extremely juvenile.

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waitress wonderwoman April 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

In the town I live in some people decorate their homes for holidays in a way that would make Martha Stewart proud, very lovely and tasteful. BUT…. there is one particular street that really goes all out super-duper tacky for Christmas. I truly believe they take pride in the over the top-ness! One even has a full sized Santa sled in the yard with enough lights and snowmen in plastic bubbles that you can’t help but smile when you pass it. Some of my favorite traditions is taking my young nephews down that street in late December (they beg us to every year!) and they joy it gives them is something I treasure now and always will! If the homeowners happen to be outside when we drive by, they wave us in for the kids to play (supervised, of course,) on the sled and they (and I) LOVE it. Christmas, sometimes, can be depressing time of year for me for reasons I won’t go into and those tacky decorations put me right into the Christmas spirit! God bless ‘em because Lord knows I don’t have the time or money to decorate my home for holidays. Decorations like this are a sometimes silly yet fun thing to do. I really hope they know how much we appreciate it. I think the only reason one should be put in Ehell for such a thing, would be if they kept them up until July (although, I’m pretty laid back, so I’d just laugh that off anyway). And, yes, I have seen some Halloween decorations that are a little too spooky and a bit on the gruesomely scary side, but considering that the Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows ever, I kind of enjoy those too, as does my nephews (although I could easily see how it might frighten some small children- in which case, simply choose to avoid that house for a few weeks). I just don’t see where this is such a big deal. As others have stated, if this is your biggest complaint in life, consider yourself a very blessed person. The letter writer is the tacky one here. The anonymous note was snobbish and screamed of self absorption.He/she obliviously felt just because s/he felt that way, EVERYONE must feel that way. And to say they don’t belong in the neighborhood…..just plain RUDE! If it really bothered him/her that much the grown up thing to do would have been to tactfully discuss their concern over coffee. But taking the tone of the letter into consideration, we all know that was never going to happen!

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Angel April 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Anyone who actually takes the time to write a letter to a neighbor because their outdoor décor bothers them–is extremely petty. I don’t blame the neighbor for her response. And I saw the photo of the house–it’s not even like the decorations are that bad. They are actually the norm for my neighborhood–we have quite a few houses now with children living there. I guess we aren’t good enough to live in good old Canada lol.

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delislice April 5, 2013 at 5:56 am

I’m with Crazy Chicken Lady. I’d be thrilled if it were temporary seasonal decorations that went away!

It’s not as pleasant to be in our front yard anymore since the neighbor’s grown son, with his wife and children moved back in. Six cars clogging the driveway and a warehouse store’s entire garden section’s worth of decorations scattered on the lawn.

But all I can do is sigh. It would never occur to me to say anything to the neighbor — much less write an anonymous letter.

On the third hand, I agree that responding by choosing to double the amount of decorations is stooping to the letter writer’s level and being childish.

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Amy April 5, 2013 at 6:42 am

You want tacky? I used to live near Bredenbury, Saskatchewan. The whole town would light up for Christmas. You could see it from the highway. All the streets had themes and home owners would actually leave their large home made decorations behind when they moved for the next people, lol.

It was awesome. And it would probably drive that woman nuts if she lived there, lol.

You know, I sort of feel sorry for her. To get that worked up over Easter decorations, you must be a pretty miserable person, and being that miserable would suck.

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Crinklestein April 5, 2013 at 6:52 am

If I lived in that neighborhood, I’d probably show solidarity by putting out flamingoes wearing bunny ears.

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LadyLelan April 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

@Crinkelstein : If you ever do put out flamingoes with bunny ears, please, please, PLEAAAAAAAASE could you share some pics? ;)

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Sadie April 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

Who gets to define ‘tacky’ anyway? I didn’t realize there were classes of decorations set to match property values. What does this neighbor want exactly? Easter bunnies made of crystal instead of plastic? What a sad life he/she must have if this is what they choose to dwell on.

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JeanLouiseFinch April 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Where I grew up, one of our favorite lawns was a statue of the Virgin Mary in a sunken half bathtub. The little garden around it had some other decorations and always had a beautiful display of flowers and plants. Yeah, it was tacky but the people who lived there were sincere in their belief that their front garden was wonderful and their religion. This is something you should respect. I didn’t see, in the photo, a 10 foot crucifixion scene on the lawn, nor does appear that there is loud speaker blasting out religious songs or sermons. These people are entitled to their taste and to express their joy in their faith, even if it’s expressed in essentially pagan symbols (bunnies – old Norse and Saxon fertility symbols for the Spring equinox.) I don’t think it’s “childish” to put more decorations up as a response to the nasty anonymous letter to them. My belief is if you are not ashamed to say what you’re saying, sign your name; otherwise, don’t say it. I too, would be tempted to but up a load of Easter decorations on my lawn in solidarity, and am Jewish!

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Din April 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

I’d have gleefully done the same thing. I don’t think I’m a drama queen, I just have a touch of evil in me.

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Pep April 7, 2013 at 2:59 am

The letter writer went above and beyond the height of rudeness with “Perhaps you should consider that this area is a step above you.” At that point I no longer even cared about the decorations one bit, especially since they are merely an issue of taste and preference and are neither violent (like the example Admin described), religious (technically speaking) or political in nature.

I’m much more curious to know how one should or could respond to such a ridiculously rude comment had it been said in person. Obviously a letter is easily ignored. Maybe not easy to ignore in thought, however – I’m *still* sitting here feeling pretty ticked off that someone would toss out such a downright mean, biting remark at their own neighbor.

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Daphne April 7, 2013 at 8:01 am

Although I think writing an anonymous letter is a little too much effort for something like this, I do see the letter writer’s point. These decorations ARE tacky. And this is the very reason so many neighborhoods have copious rules and regulations about this sort of thing. I personally think front yard ornamentation should be as tasteful as possible. I don’t see the value in pissing off your neighbors by putting a bunch of junk in your yard, no matter what the reason. I say, when you move into a new neighborhood, it’s up to you to match the character of that neighborhood. If no one else is displaying a bunch of seasonal decor in the front yard, you should follow that lead.

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Pep April 8, 2013 at 2:07 am

“And this is the very reason so many neighborhoods have copious rules and regulations about this sort of thing.” – Daphne

But that kind of brings up another point. Some people don’t enjoy living in those areas and find those rules to be quite annoying, so they purposely make sure they live in an area without them. So I would think the proper solution is that if this neighborhood disagrees with her decor, they can band together and create an HOA or something like that. Otherwise the letter writer should accept that they don’t live in area with those regulations and “tacky” isn’t illegal or, strictly speaking, offensive.

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mpk April 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

@pep – but it sounds like the anonymous letter writer is the only one that doesn’t like the decorations. Commentor #2 is an actual neighbor and she doesn’t have a problem with the decorations. Or the people driving by to show their support.
And Daphne – the statement you made that if you move into a neighborhood and nobody else decorates then you shouldn’t either is totally ridiculous in my opinion.
If you go to passiveaggressivenotes.com and put in the search “crappy decks” you’ll see the same kind of letter written there. And check out the actual deck. That anonymous letter writer belongs in the same category as this one. There’s just no explaining the nasty people in this world that have nothing better to do with their time than to put other people down. I’m sure it makes them feel better about themselves.

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Mabel April 9, 2013 at 6:48 am

Personally, I don’t really care what people do as long as it isn’t 1) loud, and 2) doesn’t obstruct the vision of people driving. I agree that dead body decorations for Halloween should be used judiciously, especially if there are little kids nearby who might be frightened. That’s just being thoughtful of them–and kids differ. Some kids actually love that stuff.

The letter writer can go fly a kite in a thunderstorm. If he/she had spoken to the condo association and they said it was okay, or didn’t say anything one way or the other, and it’s not doing either 1 or 2, then he/she needs to mind his/her own business.

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Daphne April 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

@mpk, well that’s a rather rude thing to say!

There is nothing “ridiculous” about not wanting to offend the neighbors. Maybe you don’t care if you bother your neighbors and that’s your prerogative, but plenty of people DO want to get along with the neighborhood and I just happen to be one of them.

p.s. Did it make you feel better about yourself by putting me down? ;-)

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Daphne April 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm

@ Pep, I agree with you; and I did say that this particular situation did not warrant a letter of any kind. I was simply trying to point out that it is exactly this type of situation that causes all those controlling associations with their CC&Rs to exist.
People have hugely varying levels of tolerance for outdoor decor. But typically the CC&R will err on the side of minimalism, which suggests to me that a subtle approach to front yard ornamentation is preferred by the majority.

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Pep April 10, 2013 at 2:01 am

@mpk “but it sounds like the anonymous letter writer is the only one that doesn’t like the decorations. Commentor #2 is an actual neighbor and she doesn’t have a problem with the decorations. Or the people driving by to show their support.”

I took the same interpretation and agree with you. That’s why I was suggesting that if things like this really bug the letter writer, then they shouldn’t be writing letters suggesting the neighborhood is “above” their neighbors – rather, THEY should consider that they might be more comfortable living in a place with an HOA that enforces the type of appearance they prefer. Because it sounds like they’re the only one taking issue (in this particular neighborhood, not in general).

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Enna April 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

The letter was hurtful: if anyone did have an issue they should have spoken diretctly to the lady. Writing an anonomus letter is cowardly and nasty. I thought there was nothing wrong with her decorations: decorating more so then normal might have been childish but provided they aren’t offensive like admin has said there is nothing wrong in it.

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