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There’s perfection, and then there’s…PERFECTION.

December 2, 2008

IMG_7593 In my neighborhood, which is like many other neighborhoods built in the last 10 years, lawns are immaculate, houses look pretty much all alike, and Christmas decorations are always the same, year after year. Each C9 bulb is perfectly aligned along the roof line, white icicles hang symmetrically off the eaves, and each decorated house looks just like the next one, like it came right out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine spread, complete with fake illuminated deer and swirly trees.


(Actual photos of homes in my neighborhood) 

I have one such neighbor who I’ll call the Stepford Poster Family. They have evergreen garlands draped across their garage with crisp red ribbons, white lights and icicles similar to the pictures above, illuminated deer and trees on the green velvet lawn bordered by immaculately trimmed boxwoods. (Oddly enough, this year, they don’t yet have their decorations out, but I think that’s because of the baby Stepford that arrived a few months ago.)

Compared to these neighbors, I always feel like the ugly stepchild, the one who somehow missed the class on how to hang Christmas lights.

Until this year.

This year, we have new neighbors who moved in right across the street from the Stepford Poster Family. They are a young husband and wife and this is obviously their first home. They were likely so excited for the holidays to come so they could decorate. Sunday he was up on the roof, having climbed out the upper windows to access it, and was carefully hanging their lights. Clearly attempting to join the Better Homes Club. Not only did they miss the mark, they have the virtual middle finger flying right at the Stepford Poster Family in all their glory.


And then there’s my house.


I guess that makes two of us thumbing our noses. But I feel a little less ugly this year.

  1. December 2, 2008 6:48 pm

    Oh my God…this is hilarious. What a great topic! The Stepfords must be freaking out. Can you imagine being a fly on their wall this holiday season? The stuff they must be saying.

    I’ll have to look around my neighborhood for what’s new this season. Here in the desert, giant inflatable snowmen seem to be the popular decoration. I’ll be bringing my camera with me for the next few weeks. 😛

    I can only imagine, Wendy, what they must be saying. The woman is a real not so nice lady. It’s somewhat of a long story, but we used to serve on the board together, so I know her style pretty well. She’s really not the kind of person you want to get very close to. I can’t wait to see what you find in your neighborhood.

  2. Bev permalink
    December 2, 2008 7:22 pm


    I know what you mean, as we haven’t put lights out for um, years. My kids used to jokingly say ” We tell our friends to look for the only dark spot in the whole subdivision- when you find it, you’ve found us!”

    Oh well. I fear we would do a job like your new neighbors. Heh heh

    Well, Bev, I’ve had years where I’ve been tempted to do nothing, but my kids won’t hear of it. This year, this is the best my house has ever looked. My house has often looked like my new neighbors. Finally the attention is diverted away from me.

  3. December 3, 2008 7:24 am

    Your new neighbors must have relatives in my neighborhood!!

    Im getting a good laugh at my neighborhood stepfords this year. Sunday night, two days after they hung their perfectly spaced and swagged garlands from their roof, we had a heckuva wind storm. So now they have pine all over their roof, hanging off the gutters, and laying in the yard. Guess they won’t be the frontpage of the neighborhood website this year. LOL!

    (P.S. theres a little something waiting for you at my place)

    VV – that’s funny! Our neighborhood website hasn’t been updated in years, but had it been, my house would usually have been the image of what NOT to do according to their standards. They have contests for “best decorated” for whatever holiday. I never win.

    And thank you for that little something!

  4. December 3, 2008 7:26 am

    and how did you get your icycle lights so straight? I tried them once and it looked horrible.

    Not too hard, VV. First you have to stretch them out before you hang them. They come all twisted up out of the box. Then I just nailed a nail about every 12 inches along the top of the wood frame and stuck them up there. That’s about it. If you look closely, there are a few strands going wonky, but what the hell. I have to make my new neighbors feel welcome, right? 😉

  5. December 3, 2008 11:29 am

    Ha ha ha … I hate Christmas lights. I never hang them. Screw the neighbors … I don’t even come in the front door of my house.

    I’m loving the new neighbors by the way. And, nice house, I’m jealous!!!

    GG – Ya, the new neighbors are kinda nice. I groan once in a while when I look out my office window into their kitchen window and see Mr. New Neighbor running around with no shirt. He’s not Brad Pitt by any means. And my house? Thanks! I got that all by myself with a lot of hard work and determination, not from a divorce, and that fact “scared the hell” out of the last guy I dated. Whatever!

  6. December 3, 2008 7:43 pm

    Bless their little souls!! I bet they think it looks wonderful. A few years ago I myself gave up trying to decorate at Christmas (about 3 years into working 2 jobs). Since I’m a waitress, Christmas is just about the busiest time of the year at the inn where I work and I call it Hell month. But I live vicariously through others as I love to see everyone elses efforts (even the Stepfords). Hey, it works for me and I don’t have to freeze my butt off trying to put up those damned lights!

    Laura – I know…I heard from my neighbor that they had arguments over it. I know he tried hard and I think it’s really sweet. That’s what I mean by perfection – their lights are perfect just the way they are and screw the BHG homes, right? Not that I wouldn’t love to have mine perfect, but I love the human imperfect element to them. I LOVE Christmas lights. My favorite thing during Christmas was going as a family and driving around to see all the lovely lights on houses.

  7. December 5, 2008 3:19 pm

    Sarah likes to put a few lights on our bushes but that’s about it for lights. One year she actually did put lights on the house by herself when she was a teenager. We have some crazy people around here who go nuts decorating. I’ll have to take some photos. None of the houses are Stepford houses. It’s more like the Griswolds.

    Your house looks great!!!

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