When is "too soon" to put up Christmas yard decorations?

SteveH

Where's my Mai Tai?
Joined
Sep 8, 1999
Just here to clarify that Freedom of Speech means the government can't abridge your right to say what you want, but an HOA is a private entity and can indeed tell you when to decorate for Christmas.
Correct, however some courts have been pushing back on HOAs too, flags are one example where some HOAs have lost. Hard to tell by the story, but unless the CC&Rs clearly call out a date then my take on it is the HOA will lose due to freedom of speech and expression rulings. I am thankful our HOA is fairly chill about most things, and we have no rules on when to decorate.
 

Klayfish

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2016
I personally don't care when people choose to put up their decorations but if your HOA says not before X date then don't do it before that.
To borrow a phrase from Mels' Diner (remember that show??) the HOA can kiss my grits. I put them up as soon as I'm ready. Fortunately, they're flexible with it, and in fact have a holiday decorating competition. Unfortunately, my neighbors aren't that way. They're unfriendly knuckleheads anyway, but they put up cones in their driveway just to make it harder for people coming to visit to leave. Next year, I'm putting out a light sign that says "Beware of the Grinch", with an arrow. :rotfl2:
 
  • lynxstch

    I Love Figment
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2001
    No HOA here. I actually put our lights up on the front porch Monday when it was 72 degrees. We hit a high of 36 the last 2 days. I don't turn them on till Dec 1'st, but always try to have them up while the weather cooperates. We don't do inflatables or anything like that, but if we did, I would wait until after Thanksgiving to put them up. There is a house down the street that still has their Halloween inflatables up and running, and have all the Christmas ones up and going at the same time. It looks ridiculous!
     
  • MrJT

    Collector of Mickey Merch
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2008
    I have been working crazy hours lately, and I had free time on Monday to put up my lights. All I wanted to do was hang the lights on the roof, and do the rest later. I wasn't planning on lighting them yet, just get them up before it was dark. Unfortunately I wasn't able to borrow a ladder that day and I couldn't get anything done.
    For the record, that HOA company may also run the HOA in my neighborhood, I'm not 100% sure, because I rent, but when this story was mentioned my subdivision facebook group, that was mentioned.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009

    Aside from the story linked above, some of our neighbors put up Halloween decorations and lights on the trees in their yard (beyond tacky with sooo many inflatable things) then remove the inflatables after Halloween, but leave up the lights and add tacky Christmas inflatables. But I digress. The neighborhood doesn't have a HOA so residents can basically do what they want, even if the lights are up all of Oct through Dec.
    Well, we're "that house" on the block that put up multiple lights/decorations. We usually start putting things up Thanksgiving week, since we can't do it all in one day. Heck, we can't do it all in 3 days.

    Personally, I think if someone wants to put up decorations (Christmas, Halloween, whatever), they can do it whenever they want. I see houses with Christmas lights on them at any time of year around here.

    If there's no HOA, with rules as to when/if to decorate, then I don't think anyone else should be able tell them not to do it. Even if there is a HOA, the rules need to be clearer. The "please remove the snowman until closer to the holiday season." comment - when does "holiday season" start? Stores have been selling Christmast stuff for months. Even Lifetime and Hallmark channels are running Christmas movies 24/7 (for weeks).
     
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    sharona

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    Yes, HOAs are horrid, horrid things and I completely despise them. We're stuck in a community with one, because it was best for the kids, but we're outta here as soon as reasonable.

    I'm a huge Christmas junkie. I've posted it before, at it's peak our outdoor display had around 25-30k lights, blow ups, a dozen fake trees, PVC creations, lights that dance to music I broadcast on FM radio, etc... One year I even had a real car in the front yard. It was a sports car (well, kit car) that I painted to look like a Hotwheels car. I wrapped a bow around it and had an inflatable Santa standing next to it. That was in the pre-HOA house, of course. The inside of our house is similarly decorated...sans car. :P That outdoor display takes a LONG time to put up. I'd guess something like 80 total hours. So I always started Nov 1st. In my current HOA house, I have typically started then too. My yard is smaller than in the past, but I still get a ton of lights out. I don't turn the show on until Black Friday, but I need that month to get it set. I have an entire room in my basement that's about 15'x13' filled wall to wall with Christmas stuff, plus the entire area under the basement stairs.

    Sadly, this year we're going dark. It's Nov 14th and I haven't touched anything. Our kids sports schedule has swallowed up literally every weekend and I just won't have the time to get the display up. We'll still do the inside of the house, and I'm sure I'll get some lights on bushes, but no true "show" this year. I'm sad. Here are a few pictures from Xmas past. All at the new HOA house, not the old one. Since the lights dance to music, it's hard to capture them all on at once, but you get the idea....

    View attachment 452633

    View attachment 452632
    View attachment 452628View attachment 452629View attachment 452630
    There’s. Still time! When my dd was young we had a big display and I would put it out every year on the day after Thanksgiving. I’d leave it up through 1/12. Now I just light a few trees in front.
     
  • Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    There’s. Still time! When my dd was young we had a big display and I would put it out every year on the day after Thanksgiving. I’d leave it up through 1/12. Now I just light a few trees in front.
    I wish. Travelling this entire weekend and next. Tournaments for the kids.
     

    BrianL

    Doom Buggy Driver
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2013
    I think anytime around now is fine. I'd say not before November 1st, unless you are doing Nightmare Before Christmas decorations - then it's all good! 🎃:santa:
     

    KMarston

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2009
    Yes, HOAs are horrid, horrid things and I completely despise them. We're stuck in a community with one, because it was best for the kids, but we're outta here as soon as reasonable.

    I'm a huge Christmas junkie. I've posted it before, at it's peak our outdoor display had around 25-30k lights, blow ups, a dozen fake trees, PVC creations, lights that dance to music I broadcast on FM radio, etc... One year I even had a real car in the front yard. It was a sports car (well, kit car) that I painted to look like a Hotwheels car. I wrapped a bow around it and had an inflatable Santa standing next to it. That was in the pre-HOA house, of course. The inside of our house is similarly decorated...sans car. :P That outdoor display takes a LONG time to put up. I'd guess something like 80 total hours. So I always started Nov 1st. In my current HOA house, I have typically started then too. My yard is smaller than in the past, but I still get a ton of lights out. I don't turn the show on until Black Friday, but I need that month to get it set. I have an entire room in my basement that's about 15'x13' filled wall to wall with Christmas stuff, plus the entire area under the basement stairs.

    Sadly, this year we're going dark. It's Nov 14th and I haven't touched anything. Our kids sports schedule has swallowed up literally every weekend and I just won't have the time to get the display up. We'll still do the inside of the house, and I'm sure I'll get some lights on bushes, but no true "show" this year. I'm sad. Here are a few pictures from Xmas past. All at the new HOA house, not the old one. Since the lights dance to music, it's hard to capture them all on at once, but you get the idea....

    View attachment 452633

    View attachment 452632
    View attachment 452628View attachment 452629View attachment 452630
    I can’t even imagine how many people you bring joy to when you’re able to decorate your yard! We called my neighbors the Griswalds and you could read the paper with no lights on and midnight in my house. People stole a few of her prized decorations and she stopped doing it. It absolutely makes me sad!
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    Property owners still do have rights, and a little thing about Freedom of Speech is a hard one for an HOA to fight.
    I don't think it's that hard to fight. Homeowners agreed to abide by the HOA rules when they bought the house. The only exception to that would be if the HOA came after the sale.

    If you don't like the rules (whether HOA or elsewhere), you have three choices...
    1) Don't do whatever to put yourself under those rules.
    2) Work to change the rules.
    3) Live with the rules.

    I don't get why that's so hard to understand.
     

    SteveH

    Where's my Mai Tai?
    Joined
    Sep 8, 1999
    @sam_gordon I don't completely disagree with you I live in an HOA and I was on the first Board. But I've seen first hand that sometimes it's not about "do no harm" but about personal agendas of Board members. Thankfully I don't have a horrible HOA but there are times I see the personal agenda playing out or flat out ignoring established federal rules over things like Satellite Dishes.
     

    DuskKodesh

    Marvel Hero in Training
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2019
    Glad I don't have a HOA here. I don't do Xmas (IMHO put up your decor whenever you feel the spirit to <3) but Sept 1st like clockwork the Halloween stuff comes out and I do the WHOLE yard.
     

    ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    :confused3 Meh, it's not exactly to my taste but there are several homes on my street with the lights on now. It's considered very bad form to turn them on before Remembrance Day, which was this past Monday. I'm not an early Christmas person - we decorate both inside and out on the weekend closest to the middle of December. We live in a condo and do have to conform to association guidelines but I'm not aware there are any addressing this issue.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    We don’t put up any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

    Growing up, my father put up lights two weeks before. We would get our tree one week before and decorate it on Christmas Eve. I loved that. It was very special and magical.

    Sirius XM radio has had Christmas music playing for weeks; department stores are all decked out with Christmas decorations and Christmas music; and outdoor decorations are popping up here and there. By the time Christmas comes, I’m over it.
     

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