Inflatable holiday decorations - either you love them or hate 'em.
Much like fruitcake, inflatable holiday decorations elicit strong reactions from folks who find these seasonal omens cringe-worthy or delightful, depending upon one's tastes.
When it comes to the now ubiquitous inflatable objects, I find them tacky and silly.
Fans of the holiday items fill their lawns with Santa figures and reindeer in all sorts of poses.
One area residence has so many huge inflatable figures in the yard that the house is barely visible in the background.
Folks who don't have yards become creative, placing the giant inflatable decorations on porches, roofs and even sidewalks.
Pity the poor pedestrian who comes upon super-Santa, astride a large motorcycle, sprawled over an erstwhile walkway.
In the daytime, when the figures are deflated, it's a bit disconcerting to see Santa slumped in a heap on the lawn, surrounded by limp reindeer. The sight of deflated snowmen "melting" in the yard also is sad, but rather predictable.
Some of the inflatable designs are downright puzzling. The large inflatable carousels are colorful, but their holiday significance remains a mystery. And we're not talking about holy mysteries here.
Turning to the holy family, the inflatable nativity scenes can be viewed as tacky or downright sacrilegious.
A friend who lives in the Bethlehem, Pa., area shared a photo of a neighbor's inflatable nativity set perched atop a porch roof, right next to a satellite dish.
How convenient for the inflatable holy family - they can be assured of clear TV reception in the manger.
Just when I thought the tacky seasonal sightings could not possibly be tackier, I saw a new decoration that defied the bounds of good taste: a giant inflatable Santa with his pants falling down and "Happy Holidays" written across his inflated bare buttocks.
Let's face it: nothing says "Merry Christmas" more than a "mooning" Santa.
Here's a holiday hint: If your Christmas tree tips over when being set in place, chances are great that, when fully decorated, it will crash to the floor, leaving a trail of broken ornaments, twisted strands of beads and tangled lights.
Trust me. Sadly, I speak from experience.
After 26 years of good and faithful service, my beautiful, 6-foot-tall artificial tree turned into Treezilla, toppling over, crushing ornaments and sending the angel topper flying (literally) across the room.
Luckily, the angel had its own guardian angel because it escaped unscathed, with its porcelain face intact and its wings unruffled, despite careening through the living room and landing on its head.
Fortunately, my dear friend came to my rescue. He and I tried valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to make the tree stand upright again. When it became obvious to us that the tree's demise was inevitable, we removed the remaining decorations and picked up the pieces. He provided me with a lovely replacement tree that is now decorated and, at this writing, still standing. Treezilla, meanwhile, has been hauled off, leaving behind memories of past holiday glory.
Putting aside thoughts of decorating blunders and seasonal mishaps, as the coming week marks the beginning of Hanukkah and the arrival of Christmas, may we all experience blessings, both great and small; miracles, minor and major; and love and joy to brighten the dark days and guide our way in the world. Happy holidays, readers!
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net