The Considerate Neighbor’s Guide to Outdoor Holiday Decorating

A snow-covered two-story home with all-white Christmas lights for the holidays.

Keeping lights all one color and keeping lights to a minimal are ways to decorate for the holidays without annoying neighbors or your HOA.

Tasteful outdoor holiday decorations make your neighborhood feel festive and bring smiles to people’s faces during the holiday season.

Everyone loves seeing twinkly Christmas lights and front yard winter wonderlands, but it can be easy to go overboard with holiday-themed outdoor décor.

Christmas lights and inflatables gone wild make a home look tacky, annoy the neighbors and sometimes violate HOA bylaws. NewHomeSource’s guide to considerate holiday decorating will help make your home look festive this holiday season, while still looking nice, considering your neighbors and following all HOA rules.

Go Minimal with Lights

We will admit it, driving past that one house that goes totally overboard with Christmas lights is always fun, but living next to all those bright, blinking lights can get frustrating when you just want to sleep. While many HOAs give homeowners free reign over their holiday displays, HOAs do have rules designed to protect neighbors from nighttime lightshows that border on the obnoxious.

Going minimal with your outdoor Christmas lights — think light-wrapped trees, a line of “icicles” on the roof line — looks beautiful and festive and saves you a ton of time installing the lights.

If it’s just not Christmas without a bold lightshow, talk with your neighborhood association to see if your entire community could come together to make a winter wonderland in common areas. You can also talk with your neighbors to see if going wild with lights in your yard would be an issue for them and to workout good times to turn off the lights.

Avoid Tacky Statues and Inflatables

You might think the light-up statue of Santa tinkling off your roof is the funniest thing ever, but your neighbors might not agree. Simply avoiding tasteless décor will do wonders for your relationships with neighbors and make your home look welcoming and festive.

Massive inflatables take up your entire yard while looking horrible. If you absolutely must have a six-foot-tall snow globe in your yard, make sure it has something to do with the holidays and is not just Mickey Mouse in a Santa hat.

Limit the Number of Things in Your Yard

There is always that one house in the neighborhood that decides they need every inch of their front yard covered with reindeer, snowmen, stars, Santas, Christmas trees and other staples of holiday cheer.

Protect your grass, keep your yard tidy and ensure people can actually appreciate your holiday decorating by limiting the sheer numbers of holiday décor in your front lawn. Like going minimal with Chiasmas lights, reducing holiday statuary makes your display look traditional and clean. People, especially your neighbors, will not get overloaded by the overwhelming amount of stuff and can truly enjoy your visualization of the season.

Do Not Let Your Decorations Creep onto the Sidewalk/Road/Neighbor’s Yard. Ever.

Letting your holiday décor creep onto public spaces and your neighbors’ yards is an inconsiderate, totally preventable safety hazard. You have no excuse for letting your lights, statues and hardware getting off your property.

Avoid being an inconsiderate neighbor this holiday season and check your perimeter for cords, or any other decorating materials that might have slipped over your property line. Your neighbors and anyone who uses the sidewalk in front of your hose will thank you.

Biggest, Brightest?

One other consideration to remember this holiday season is how your decorations will affect the traffic in the area. If you have the biggest, brightest yard in the neighborhood, it’s likely it’s a sight for all. But all that traffic you’re attracting might be affecting your neighbors. Now, if your whole neighborhood partakes in a holiday lights extravaganza, that’s one thing. But, if you’re the only one in the neighborhood who’s bringing unwanted traffic into the area, you may be the getting a note from your HOA.

Something about driving around neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights takes people back to happy childhood memories. When you get ready to decorate your home, you can share some holiday cheer in a beautifully tasteful way — without annoying the neighbors or your HOA.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a SEO Associate for (...more)

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