Friends, I hate to do this, but it has become necessary to make a few corrections to some of your decorating choices. I realize that we all have different tastes and likes and dislikes…but, I’m afraid some of you are in need of a little guidance.

Let’s talk about your yard and outside home decor for the holidays. Personally, you can do whatever you want to inside and I have no right to comment because that’s your personal space…BUT…I am forced to see the outside and there are a few things you should remember.

1. You do not have to put a light on every single tree, bush, limb and leaf in your yard. A little goes a long way. Some of those spindly, sad looking trees do not deserve to be lit up. Choose a few of your better specimens to highlight.

2. Upon deciding to use thousands of lights in your yard, it would be most considerate of you to choose one color. If you run out of lights in your chosen color, it is never OK to substitute a string of another color to fill in. We are striving for a cohesive look here friends. Not a look that says, “they ran out of blue lights, guess I’ll finish out with purple.” Bad idea. Buy them all at one time from the same store…different manufacturers have differing shades of color.

3. There are a myriad of ways to add your lights. They come in nets, single string, icicle lights, lights that twinkle, lights that chase, light that change colors, even rope lights. It boggles the mind, I know. But, the rule here is…choose 1 type and stick with it. It is too stressful to try to take in all the different movements going on in your yard as we drive by. It causes such a distraction that it could lead to an accident. And having cars piled up in your front yard will really cause your display to lose all effectiveness.

4. If you should choose to cover every visible limb with lights…this project will require a ladder. If you are vertically challenged…you must not stop the lights at the farthest reaches of your arms. The limbs continue, people, and so should the lights. AND…in case you are wondering…it is NEVER permissible to throw the lights at the tree in hopes that the branches will reach out and catch them perfectly placed. This will never happen. Don’t even try!

5. Some demented mind came up with the newest of attractions…giant snow globes. I can see where these could cause small children to lose their minds with glee…but as a parent…you must set some limits. The globes are available with Santa and the Mrs., Santa and the reindeer, Snowmen, Unidentifiable creatures, even the Grinch. While I am sure, if you like this sort of thing, these choices would be hard to make…make it you must. It shows your lack of decisiveness when you have several in a row. And, how confusing,,,Santa and Mrs. Clause next to the Grinch…why! that’s just ridiculous..not to mention sending mixed messages to your children.

6. Where Oh Where is Baby Jesus? Usually you’ll find the glowing Holy Family waaaaay over to the side under a plastic stable. I bet if you asked, He would not mind being left out of this hodge-podge of twinkle that some of us pass off as decorating. Especially when the Grinch is 5 times as large and front and center!

7. If your neighbors move to the beach for the whole month of December…this could be a clue that you have gone overboard. They in no way want to be associated with such ostentatious, not to mention, tacky, display. It pains them deeply to have to see this each time they return from an outing….and their mail is piling up because it is too embarressing to walk to the mailbox.

8. You are a reflection of your whole neighborhood. No one, in their right mind wants to live in the vicinity of the “Land of Twinkle and Chaos” for the month of December……Please tell me you have it down by Jan.1…PLEASE!