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Probably Not The Best Christmas Decorating Idea

Now that Thanksgiving is over, people everywhere are beginning to decorate their homes for Christmas. Just don’t go overboard and create a public nuisance that is sure to offend your neighbors, motorists, the police, search and rescue teams, knee nibblers and small species of domesticated mammals.

“Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after two days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories. But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn’t realize that it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of the many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn’t take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard.”


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Typo Tat November 30, 2010, 6:19 am

    This is where “awesomely creative” and “good idea” don’t mesh 🙂

  • QueenofAllThings November 30, 2010, 7:05 am

    Aah, the true spirit of Christmas.

    Halloween is over, people – what on earth possessed you?

  • April01 November 30, 2010, 7:35 am

    I almost choked on my coffee from laughing so hard. It does look a little too real. 🙂

  • A November 30, 2010, 7:40 am

    That’s what my decorating scheme is missing!

  • Wheelchair Bling November 30, 2010, 7:58 am

    Somebody needs to tattoo on the back of this guy’s hands, “Think first! THEN act.”

  • Sazerac November 30, 2010, 8:12 am

    I think this was less a breach of etiquette than it was an exercise in poor judgment. Although, I love the idea in concept! Too hilarious! At least he realized the potential risks and took down the display.

  • Amber November 30, 2010, 8:15 am

    I dunno, this could work if the dummy didn’t look so real. I think the decorator should try again with something more obviously fake.

  • Pam November 30, 2010, 8:58 am

    If he dressed his dummy as a snowman or Santa, that might have been ok.

  • Flora November 30, 2010, 9:11 am

    On the positive side, you’ve just found out that many of your neighbors are compassionate and willing to jump to a strangers aide in an emergency.

  • Giles November 30, 2010, 9:11 am

    Our neighbour had one of these years ago and after the first year, had the foresight to put a large ad in our local paper with a photo of it saying it was just a decoration. The first year they had a few calls but no attempted rescues.

    Seriously, though, you’d think you’d call to them first and if you got no answer and no movement, you’d put two and two together.

  • Shayna November 30, 2010, 9:25 am

    I think the IDEA is hilarious and creative, but the execution is bad. Dress him as a snowman and then it would have been brilliant! I have to admit, when I saw this, I laughed out loud though…

  • Kovitlac November 30, 2010, 10:06 am

    Definitely not the best idea for Christmas decorations, but absolutely the funniest. I wouldn’t say that this is a breach of ettiquette, however. On the contrary, you listened to your neighbors and the cops, and took down something you realized could be dangerous.

  • Virg November 30, 2010, 10:11 am

    See Snopes for this one. The accompanying story is fabricated but the display did exist, and the actual creator had some interesting responses to it.



  • Louise November 30, 2010, 10:13 am

    I think it’s a good idea, but in practice, not so much. An obviously inflatable Santa would likely cause less ruckus.

    Our local art museum has a mannequin dressed in ragged clothes lying on its side in one corner of a room. It looks like someone fell asleep or worse. I’ve seen it twice and my first reaction both times has been, “Oh no! Is that person OK?” I suppose it’s art (not quite sure how), but I think any display that looks like someone genuinely needs help is a bad idea.

  • Elizabeth November 30, 2010, 11:08 am

    I think it is cute and funny, but not really in the holiday spirit. As others have said, if it had been Santa or a snow man it would have kept the theme a little better. Over all, I did enjoy.

  • Xtina November 30, 2010, 11:24 am

    Virg–thanks for the link; I thought this looked familiar!

    I agree–very, very creative, but bad execution. Something obviously fake (Santa, snowman, etc.) would have kept the spirit of the “joke” but been less hazardous to passersby.

  • Harley Granny November 30, 2010, 11:43 am

    Thanks Virg….I knew this sounded familiar but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    Still funny tho!

  • Robert November 30, 2010, 11:54 am

    One of these was in the news a few years ago but the dummy was hanging upside down suspended by XMass lights wrapped around one leg. In that one the police actually did ask the people to take it down (unlike the real text that originally accompanied this pic where the person voluntarily took it down).

    @FLORA RE: Finding out your neighbors are compasionate. “You can learn a lot from a dummy!”

  • gramma dishes November 30, 2010, 11:56 am

    I agree with Pam and Shayna. I think if this were a Santa or Snowman this could be funny with fewer “side effects”.
    My concern is that now that this kind of display has become so well known, if someone actually did find themselves in such a precarious position, no one would help because they’d be convinced that it was all just a joke display. Kind of like that “boy who cried wolf” story.

  • MOB November 30, 2010, 12:02 pm

    I rank this one up there with the Santa urinating (a string of lights) off the roof style of decorations. Sort of comical, but maybe not as funny as intended when people start slamming into each other on the street! 😉

  • Undecided November 30, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Giles- I don’t think it would be a good idea if you think someone is hanging on for dear life to take the time to call them before deciding to help.

  • Vicki November 30, 2010, 1:40 pm

    That fooled me completely… I guess because I have gotten myself into so many crazy situations over the years. (Nothing that drastic…!)
    Thanks for starting my day with a giggle!

  • MamaToreen November 30, 2010, 1:43 pm

    If it weren’t for the style of the house, I’d think my dad did it.

  • Lindy November 30, 2010, 2:08 pm


  • Simone November 30, 2010, 3:10 pm

    It is hilarious and perhaps it is in keeping with Christmas that we are reminded that for most people, their first instinct is to help a fellow human being in trouble 🙂

    Causing car accidents though? Not quite so cool…

  • Chocobo November 30, 2010, 3:37 pm

    I agree — not executed well, but maybe something a little more comical might work better — a ridiculously fake Santa, or Reindeer, or something. Or even a person, but with straw coming out, and a pumpkin head. Just one of those cases of “it seemed like a good idea at the time”, not counting on people’s reactions of goodwill towards the much-too-realistic mannequin.

  • Sarah Jane November 30, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I’ve seen much crappier things in the name of art and some “celebrations of free speech” that turned my stomach, so I don’t see me jumping down the guy’s throat for his intentions. But I agree with those who suggest it might have been tweaked a little to represent the holiday spirit.

    Giles is right…seems a “Can you hear me? I’m coming to help!” could have preceded scrambling up a ladder.

  • Chelsey November 30, 2010, 5:58 pm

    I think the decoration is hilarious, but it would definitely be better for Halloween rather than Christmas. But I do agree with everyone who said it would be a good idea if it were Santa. Actually, that would be hysterical. Maybe put some reindeer up at the top looking down on him and thinking, “What do we do about this?” =D

  • babs November 30, 2010, 10:01 pm

    Nope. No Santa or snowman for us. If we had a 2-story house, my husband would be all over this in a heartbeat!

  • Gretchen Chateau November 30, 2010, 10:17 pm

    The Grislywolds?

  • Andy November 30, 2010, 11:53 pm

    I vote for an inflatable Homer Simpson in a Santa Suit. Desired effect, and everybody would
    instantly know that it’s fake.

    Now I gotta go do it….

  • The Cat Whisperer December 1, 2010, 12:14 am

    Now, if the OP had done a snowman holding onto the roof for dear life, all would probably have been well: people wouldn’t have thought it was a real person in distress, and there would have been many chuckles over the cleverness of having ol’ Frosty the Snowman dangling on the brink.

    Discussion of Christmas decorations always makes me remember back when I was a kid. I grew up in a town in the Mojave desert, and we didn’t have much in the way of snow most Christmases. But we did have tumbleweeds, great big huge thorny round tumbleweeds, and we had those by the hundreds caught against every fence out in the farm and ranches outside of town. So every Christmas, there were intrepid souls who would collect tumbleweeds, spray-paint them white, and stack ’em up to make “snowmen” out of tumbleweeds. People would put hats on them, button eyes, a (fake) carrot nose, and use them as part of the Christmas decorations.

    Ahhhh, yes, those were the days….;^))

  • PrincessSimmi December 1, 2010, 2:32 am

    I’ve been bopping around the office all day singing Christmas carols thanks to this post!

  • J. L. Scott December 1, 2010, 7:53 am

    Maybe if you had tried using a Santa suit it would have been ok. You think?

  • Jessyy December 1, 2010, 2:13 pm

    I acutally thought it was a picture of someone who had fallen while putting the lights up. (Which made me chuckle a bit..) Once I realised that it was fake I laughed harder.

  • mmike1969 December 1, 2010, 7:38 pm

    I remember this gung-ho family that moved into the neighborhood years ago and they decided “We are in America and we shall celebrate like Americans!”

    So they placed a gigantic inflatable snow man on top of their two story house… I almost crashed my car like just about everyone else in the block! I was very sad when they took it down. Something about people complaining about it might cause accidents… :p

  • Jillybean December 1, 2010, 8:36 pm

    @Louise – performance art, perhaps? A study to see how many people in the museum would be inclined to stop and help or how many people would simply look and walk on by?

    @Undecided – I think Giles meant “call out” as opposed to “call” (on the phone, if that’s what you were thinking). As in, “Hey you – hold on, I’m gonna get the ladder.” Then when they hear nothing back – investigate.

    I think it’s creative and fun, though likely hazardous to cars. But I can’t imagine anyone looking at it, or approaching to the point of helping and not figuring out immediately that it’s fake. How many people do you know that could hold themselves suspended from a gutter without moving at all and without saying a word? Likely the person’s legs would be flailing and they’d be calling for help.

  • Charles December 1, 2010, 11:52 pm

    To quote David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap: “It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.”

  • Mgleaf December 2, 2010, 12:22 am

    I checked on Snopes, and some people really did put up a display like that. Even if no one actually climbed a ladder, people did stop. I guess it didn’t take climbing up a ladder to see that the thing wasn’t real. I still feel glad that people stopped. In this year when the prevailing political sentiment seems to be, “If you’re in trouble, it’s all your own fault, so why should anyone help you?” I’m glad to see that the natural human reaction was to stop to see if something needed to be done to help. (I’m also glad the people who did it realized a real accident could happen and took it down.)

  • marc December 2, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Christmas always leaves me hanging anyway…

  • M. December 5, 2010, 10:27 am

    I’m guessing if he were hanging off the roof by a noose of Christmas lights, that would be worse.

  • Twik December 5, 2010, 9:07 pm

    I really dislike this. It’s “hilarious” to see people running to help when it’s just a fake? Yes, let’s have a hearty laugh at the would-be rescuers. Then, next time they see someone looking like they need help, they’ll remember to just pass on by, and not make fools of themselves.

    I just hope that the person they leave in peril is the author of this display, and not some innocent third party.

  • Bill December 20, 2012, 1:19 am

    I would love to use this photo for a marketing piece. How would I go about finding the photographer?

  • Jason Tingstad October 14, 2013, 8:12 pm

    can anyone email me where i can buy this i want to do this to my house so bad