Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On the 61st day after Xmas...

my city said to me. "Please pay our Christmas late fee."

Have you ever been annoyed to see people in your neighborhood displaying their Christmas decorations well into the new year? Well, some suburbs of Chicago are doing something about it. A few of them are writing into law guidelines as to when holiday decorations are allowed to be displayed. More specifically that decorations visible from the street must only be displayed during a time from 60 days before to 60 days after the holiday they celebrate. If they are up outside of that time you risk getting a warning or a fine.

It really falls along the lines of neighborhood appearance. For instance, currently some neighborhoods around Montreal outlaw those snow shelters that people place in their driveways during the winters. Or others require your building proposal go before an appearance committee to verify it is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. This is not as big of a deal as those, but has the same spirit.

Now, aside from it being a bit against people freedom to do what they want, this really sounds like a good idea. Think about it. That's a third of the year you would be able to celebrate any of the dozen or two that are traditionally celebrated. In the states you could even justify covering your lawn with US flags for the whole year between Presidents day (Feb), Memorial day (May), 4th of July, and Veterans day (Nov). As far as Christmas we are talking about being able to display the decorations from before Halloween to late February. That's quite a chunk of time. Of course nobody wants to go out in the dead of winter and have to take them down, but usually there are a few 'nice' weekends it can be done. As far as lights, it is only a matter of not turning them on. Otherwise they are usually not very conspicuous.

In the interest of full disclosure, we finally turned off our Christmas lights. We strung up white lights outside our window in the trees and saw it more as a winter decoration. It looked really cool during the snow falls. Our real reason for pulling the plug was because of the recent electric rate hike.

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Last time I was in Mtl, I was telling R all about what it was like when those plastic carports were new in Quebec. People went bananas over them! Each house had one, every single driveway. And of course, when big storms came along the badly tethered ones tended to roll over and sail off into the wind. Damaged ones remained in rusty skeleton form for years. It's something oddly charming about Quebecois culture. We're collectively obsessive compulsive and tend to go overboard on things. Add to that the tacky leanings of any Catholic culture and you get quite an 'effect'. You should have seen the gold sparkle "stucco" craze of the early 70s.

Frank said...

I was wondering about how the shelters are tied down. I`ve seen concrete blocks, but it would seem some real anchors to the pavement would be necessary under heavy winds.

I'm no stranger to tacky. It's just interesting to see tacky of a different sort. And sometime because it's new to me it seems kinda cool.