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    How to Avoid Pissing Off Your Neighbors With Your Outdoor Holiday Decorations

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    Everyone has a Clark Griswold in their neighborhood who goes over the top when it comes to holiday decorating. Heck, that might even be you. It’s hard not to get drunk with power when you can create a marvelous winter wonderland, right on your property.

    But lest you forget, your display may run the risk of offending your neighbors. A front yard full of larger-than-life inflatables or a light show that requires the power of multiple generators can draw unwanted crowds to your street. (We’re guessing you know better than to do anything truly offensive.) Plus, all those lights might be too bright—especially if your neighbor’s bedroom faces your house.

    To help keep the peace in your neck of the woods this holiday season, make sure you adhere to the following decorating etiquette. Your neighbors can thank us later.

    1. Decorations should go up on Black Friday and come down no later than January

    With stores increasingly selling Christmas tree ornaments and decorations alongside Halloween costumes in October, it’s little wonder that holiday home decorating kicks off earlier each year. Expert consensus holds, though, that Christmas decorations shouldn’t actually go up until Black Friday.

    “People can start decorating their homes as early as the day after Thanksgiving,” says Elaine Swann, a lifestyle and etiquette expert and founder of Swann School of Protocol in Carlsbad, CA.

    But what goes up must come down at some point. Right? Etiquette expert Thomas P. Farley (aka Mister Manners), says that all holiday decorations, as tacky or tasteful as they may be, should be taken down and packed away by mid- to late January.

    2. Be considerate of the layout of your neighbor’s house

    Nothing says “bad neighbor” like your blinged-out house radiating thousands of watts of electricity into your neighbors’ bedroom when they’re trying to sleep. Make sure that your lights aren’t placed in your neighbor’s line of vision. And also, consider putting the lights on a timer.

    “Common decency implores that your holiday decorations are not offensive—and that your lights not shine so brightly that they temporarily blind your neighbors as they pull out of their driveways,” says Farley.

    3. Know that the biggest, brightest lights will attract visitors

    If you build it, they will come. An impressive light display and a decked-out house may bring a steady stream of cars overflowing with kids eager to see your holiday lights. Fun as that may seem, it could create a traffic nightmare for your neighbors, landing you smack-dab on their naughty list.

    Swann says that to keep the peace with neighbors and the neighborhood, it’s wise to take note of the level of decorations in your neighborhood and to decorate your home accordingly.

    4. Don’t let inflatable decorations obstruct driveways or visibility

    That menagerie of 6-foot inflatables covering every inch of your yard may get you into the Christmas spirit, but your neighbors might think a lawn full of Santa, reindeer, elves, snowmen, and stars is an eyesore. So when purchasing inflatables, consider height, width, and depth to ensure that your yard doesn’t look overcrowded.

    5. Practice peace and good will

    A cat-themed nativity scene set against a laser light show may be your neighbor’s pride and joy. But if it’s making your blood boil, take a deep breath and check your Scrooge at the door.

    “It’s the most festive time of the year, so try not to let your inner Grinch rear its ugly head. Stay in your own lane,” says Lisa Grotts, an etiquette expert in San Francisco, CA.

    Farley requests that you try to respect the tastes of your neighborhood, since taste is in the eye of the beholder. It is Christmas, after all.

    The post How to Avoid Pissing Off Your Neighbors With Your Outdoor Holiday Decorations appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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