It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Tacky

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This first appeared in 2005 on Hitting My Stride (my triathlon blog). But the phenom has grown to epidemic proportions, so I was inspired to elaborate. 

As my nearest and dearest are aware, I have no patience for the zeal with which people display the most gawd awful Christmas decorations. When we drive past a particularly heinous display we will exclaim, with the joy of the season in our hearts, "Look, honey! Christmas puked in their yard!"

The newest trend in the annual travesty of taste are giant inflatable yard decorations. It started a few years ago with an occasional puffy Santa and devolved into an absurd collage of holiday-spirit-cum-pop-culture. (Does anyone else have a problem with 10 foot tall Santa Homer or Reindeer Scooby Doo?)

More than once we've joked about declaring open season on these earthbound Macy's parade rejects and driving around town with a pellet gun.

As new figures came on the market, some folks got the bright idea to put out little groupings of them - some of which approach what I can only imagine are LSD induced nativity hallucinations.

Now, of course, the folks who were creating makeshift nativities don't have to worry, because some enterprising d-bag took bastardization of the season to whole new levels with the creation of this monstrosity:

I'm an atheist and still find this offensive to Christian theology.

Hellbound blaspheming blowups aside, there is one local twit who still holds the record in my book for holiday WTFness. 

Oddly enough for a season in which people strive to out-garish each other, this blunder is elegant in its simplicity. These aren't folks that shingled their roof with lights or filled their yard with plastic reindeer and blinking candy canes. They have a single inflatable Santa. And at some point, these folks must have asked themselves "how can we make the most of our lonely balloon Santa?" And then they must have gotten high, because their solution was... (drumroll please)... to suspend Santa from a tree.

Yep. A tree. The topmost rope is nearly 40 feet in the air, so this took some serious effort. I'm guessing heavy equipment rental was involved. And, while I assume they were going for a benign "father Christmas looking down on us all" motif, the result falls far short.

A number of ropes going in various directions off Santa into the tree create a prisoner-on-the-rack effect, and for that special redneck touch they anchored his feet to a wheelbarrow. It's creepy in general, and is particularly disturbing when the wind blows, adding a Santa-having-a-seizure effect. When he's not inflated, it looks like a body that's been on the gallows for too long.

I desperately want to meet these people so I can ask them why they hung Santa in effigy.