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Bah Humbug To Christmas Lights

Good news for husbands dreading the annual trek into the attic to drag down an ever-growing supply of Christmas/Hanukkah decorations. Tell your family the neighbors will hate you for it.

Research by HCD proclaims people have become "less tolerant" of elaborate Christmas displays as the economy has turned south.

More than one in three of those surveyed say their perceptions of Christmas decorations changed over the last year, with nearly half of that group saying there is a need for less ostentation. Ok, that means only 15 percent of the total group thinks there needs to be less ostentation. Is that a lot? The survey wanted to make it sound like a lot.

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The numbers then get even smaller. Most of those cutting back say it's a matter of money (71 percent), but about a third say it's inappropriate during these serious times. So we're really talking a third of the above-mentioned 15 percent, or 5 percent, of the TOTAL group surveyed saying it's inappropriate to have a lot of decorations AND they're cutting back. Hmmm...

But there are some larger trends in the survey. We may not be cutting back, but we've gotten a lot more judgmental about people who festoon their yards with a blow-up Santa in a "ginormous" snow globe kept inflated by a generator running all night, surrounded by the latest-generation robotic reindeer. When surveyors showed people two pictures (both shown here), one of an elaborately decorated house at night, the other a simply decorated house during the day, most said they preferred the simple house.

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