Posted by: thehungryrunner | March 10, 2010

Christmas Lawn Decorations? In MARCH?

Well, here’s a new one for the record books, folks.  Went out for a run, changed my route a little from the well-worn path (well….”well-worn suburban residential streets” would probably be the more accurate choice of words) I’d grown habituated to lately…..and lo and behold, discovered not one but two houses which continue to display long-forgotten Christmas/holiday decorations on their front lawns.  We’re not talking vague lights strung from the bushes.  We’re talking wooden toy soldiers, candy canes, snowmen and yep, even Santa himself.  And we’re not talking run-down, neglected houses, either.  These were multi-level brick houses that probably Zillow at around $400,000.  What gives?  I mean, if you’re going to follow through with half measures only — put them up but then not bother to take them down, why bother to make the effort in the first place?

Aside from the astonishment and, I must admit, disgust I felt, it made me wonder about how it could be possible that that the same people who could manage to get one task done on the appropriate time frame — that is, get the decorations up (we assume) in time for Christmas…..could be the same people who then let them sit, and sit, and sit, well past even the point that most of us joke incredulously (“You know, those people who still have their Christmas decorations up on Valentine’s Day!”).  HOW?

The only answer I could come up with — and yet it helps underscore something important about us humans and human nature — is how we sometimes underestimate the powerful influence of having concrete, clear-cut dates and deadlines for which a task must be carried out.  Because isn’t that really the main variable in this case?  If somehow there were a law that required all holiday yard nicknacks be removed by January 31, or maybe another holiday just as influential in terms of its decoration craziness followed soon after Christmas (Valentine’s Day, the last time I checked, does not entail an entire neighborhood covered in giant inflatable hearts or red, pink and purple lawn lights), would we see less of these yards whose decor has well surpassed its expiration date?

Yeah, yeah, too much thinking, but hey, when I’m out for a run, it’s not just my legs that are meandering!

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