My Neighbors Are Pressuring Me To Decorate for the Holidays!
By Mouthy Housewives on December 04, 2013
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
We live in a neighborhood where everyone decorates the outside of their house for Christmas. We never do because we go out of town and aren't that into spending money on something that doesn't matter to us. However, recently a couple of neighbors have passive-aggressively made comments about how bad it looks to have our house dark on a festive street. Should I cave in and hang up some lights (which I can't afford to give either time or money to) or just ignore them? I don't want to cause trouble.
Am I Gretchen the Grinch?
Am I Gretchen the Grinch?
It's not enough that you have to keep your yard mowed, your roof clean and your garbage cans put away - now you have to decorate, too?! You are not Gretchen the Grinch.
Look, I love holiday decorations. They are so festive and really brighten up a neighborhood in the darkness and cold of winter. Many of my neighbors have full on Christmas displays and I love driving around to see all the lights.
I mean, some people really like Christmas ...
But decorations are expensive, time-consuming and they aren't for everyone. Some people don't even celebrate Christmas, so why should they feel pressured to decorate because others do?! I personally prefer something a bit understated rather than 45 blow-up elves in my own yard. (No offense to elves.) And you should not feel any need to do something you can't afford or have the time to do.
You have a few options in dealing with these pushy neighbors. You can tell them ...
1. "I don't have the energy for a whole bunch of decorations, but you're welcome to string some lights on this tree (point to tree) if you are up for it."
2. Or you can say, "We are keeping things simple since we are away for the holidays and just hanging an invisible wreath. (Point to your invisible wreath.)
3. Or (and this is my personal favorite), you can say, "We decided to use all the money we would spend on decorations and just give it to charity this year. There are so many people who need food, shelter and help. And we feel like giving is so important during the holidays." Then make a donation (whatever you can afford) to your favorite charity.
Good karma. And those neighbors won't say another word.
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