I Freaking Hate Inflatable Holiday Decorations

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and warm woolen mittens. I hate your holiday blow-up lawn decorations.

Fine. Kettles, roses, and itchy mittens are really nothing to get worked up about (though they are tad cliché).

Don’t get me wrong, I love the lights and sounds of the season. It’s dark and cold where I live and will be until March. I don’t mind seeing strings of lights and window candles being turned on the day after Halloween and staying lit until St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t judge the length of your holiday spirit, but I sure as fuck hate the way you decorate it.

I am about to poke a hole in your festive nylon balloons. These things really are a juxtaposition of one’s ambition. Throwing an inflatable Frosty on your lawn and calling it quits is about the laziest act of decorating you can do. You probably buy those sugar cookies in a tube and call it baking, don’t you? Well, your motorized waving reindeer looks like sadness.

My dismay increases when I see the same thing on a rooftop. People are capable of installing inflatable scenes worthy of Macy’s storefronts, complete with an elf sitting on Mrs. Claus’ lap while she sits on a real rocking chair and knits an actual stocking; but they can’t be bothered to clean up their dog’s shit on walks or rake their leaves before the first snowfall.


At least snowmen and reindeer are seasonal, even if played out. I will never understand the Christmas dragon. Or dachshund. Or tractor. Can anything be Christmasy if you put a Santa hat on it? Well, not for the ones who want to keep Christ in Christmas. Those Jesus-loving folks opt for the inflatable nativity set.

Don’t celebrate Christmas? No problem! Tackiness does not discriminate. Blow-up dreidels and menorahs are ready to stand up in a crowd. Or blow precariously in the wind, depending on how frozen the ground is when you decide to stake your motor humming festivity to your lawn. Thanks for the sound machine, neighbor!

These stupid blow-ups are ready to run up the electricity bill and pull on resources we take for granted too. They seem to be like potato chips; you really can’t have just one. Most houses have 3-25 of these things. Electrical cords are strategically placed with the skill level of an aerospace engineer. Outlets are tested and fuses are blown. We could power third world countries with the energy used to sustain our gaudy love of fabric Hawaiian Santas.


And can we talk about the gross perpetuation of commercial consumerism? I can almost see the justification of erecting the classic characters from Rudolph or Frosty or even Snoopy. I know I need to make some compromises, but Minions, the pups from Paw Patrol, and Disney characters are too damn much. Either your kid is in charge of all of your purchases or you have an odd fascination for juvenile things.

Cartoon characters on tooth paste, food packaging, and even clothing are slick marketing too. But they are serve as a way for parents to buy shit for their kids in hopes that their kid will do, eat, and wear what they need to.

Call me old fashioned, or a judgmental bitch, but I will be sticking to strings of twinkle lights wrapped around tree trunks and dangerously hung to gutters and rooflines. I have updated my love of the big colored bulbs to LED ones, but I am fine with the weird bluish/white ones too—why can’t energy efficiency still carry that warm yellow glow?

I know, I know. I am totally that “get off my lawn” grump when it comes to inflatable decorations. And for good measure, you know what else is stupid? Those light projectors that illuminate snowflakes or other designs onto your house. It’s Christmas, people, not a Pink Floyd show.

All these opinions are my own, obviously.

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