Whatever You Do, Do NOT Tell The Internet You Hate Inflatable Yard Decorations

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 

A couple of years ago, I wrote a very controversial article about my dislike of inflatable lawn decorations. My opinions were pretty harsh and I didn’t hold back when I wrote, “Your motorized waving reindeer looks like sadness.” Part of my snarkiness was in jest, but in comedy is truth. I really do think those nylon bags of air are tacky, but in calling air powered lawn ornaments a lazy person’s way of decorating, I now see the insensitivity of my ableist remark. I’m sorry about that.

However, many people didn’t even realize this because they were so focused on the fact that I insulted their Disney characters and by proximity, their love of Christmas Lilo and Stitch. I was given plenty of other feedback that ranged from people agreeing with the tackiness of said decorations, to not agreeing at all:

Okay, judgmental bitch it is! Just let people be happy.

Wow, who shit in this writer’s Christmas stocking for [them] to be so damn bitter? [They] must be a lot of fun at holiday parties. (I corrected my pronouns since this person misgendered me while being mad at me.)

Remove the gigantic candy cane from your ass and lighten up. (See my article on ass play.)

I usually don’t like inflatable decorations but then but this article was so unnecessarily negative that it made me want to go buy one. (Reverse psychology for the win?)

First of all, I am a ton of fun at parties, thank you very much. And I still stand by most of what I wrote. I prefer strings of lights and a little more creativity when it comes to decorating for the holidays. I don’t think anyone really needs a 4th of July air-fueled lawn ornament. And the mass production and seemingly unlimited number of options of these things screams gross consumerism. But, and I’m going slowly here and not quite ready to fully concede, I’m ready to admit that the holiday inflatables aren’t completely awful.


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Maybe I’m getting soft or less stubborn. Perhaps I am letting go of my traditional stance on maintaining a classic holiday glow in people’s yards reminiscent to A Christmas Story. That tinny sound of elevator style Christmas music and the simplicity of big bulbs on trees is my jam. The modern ways of decorating with laser beams, light shows, and mini Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons littering people’s yards are not. Yet, this pandemic has made me appreciate joy when I see it. And call me a hypocrite, but when those stupid nylon inflatables filled people’s yards for Halloween, it made me happy.

Last March when people put twinkle lights outside as a way to bring in happiness in what was a dark time, the sentiment was short lived because the pandemic continues to be long lived. Lights that stayed put through June were just a reminder that half of this country is refusing to make sacrifices that will keep this pandemic under control, so I took them down. But when October arrived, so did the blow up ghosts, pumpkins, and other Halloween-themed lawn decorations. I was almost relieved. The arrival of these inflatables was right on time and predictable. My reaction was not. I was excited to see them because it meant people still had the energy to carry on. People still wanted to make themselves and others happy by decorating the fuck out of their property with multiple and gigantic air powered vampires and ghosts.

My kids have always loved the blow up decorations, and their relief and joy was palpable when they asked to drive by houses that were particularly gaudy. That’s when my Grinch-sized heart grew several sizes and I began to see the beauty in these ugly things.

I would like to say I am a little less judgy about what you decide to put in your yard this holiday season, but I’m not that mature or self-realized. Did you really think I was going to be totally converted? You can (and will) do you, but it’s hard not to wonder what your underlying motivation is when you chose to purchase and install certain characters. Unless it says “Baby’s First Christmas,” why would you put Winnie The Pooh wearing a Santa hat in your yard? Really? Pooh? And Eeyore as a companion makes me feel the sads. Perhaps I need to call my therapist.

The “patriotic” Christmas Eagle holding an American flag in its beak just tells me you voted for Trump, claim Q status, and are a dick. And inappropriate Santa tells me the same thing. You’re super cool, Chad. Keep going with that misogynistic holiday cheer. And your pooping reindeer or elves pissing on igloos are about as funny as your Calvin pissing on a Chevy symbol sticker that is on your Ford stuck next to your “Blue Lives Matter” sticker. Seriously, fuck off with that kind of spirit.

And then there are the nativity scenes and other religious decorations that, while appropriately just bags of air, seem a little sacrilegious with all of the boasting. The angels, wisemen, and doughy Baby Jesus seem more like proclaiming your religion is the only one that matters than actually practicing that message of leaving room at the inn. I understand you want to “keep Christ in Christmas,” but I bid you a Happy Holidays. And knock it off with the Santa kneeling before Jesus bullshit. Christmas, nor the familiar characters associated with it, is not always secular.

Sorry, I got away from my original point. This is about my dislike of inflatables, not religion, though the two do intersect at times. You have never needed my or anyone else’s permission to do what makes you happy — even if that means I lash out in disgust over your choice in holiday displays. As long as our opinions don’t degrade someone’s humanity or rights, then we have a right to them. It seems a little too easy to just throw a Santa hat on Baby Yoda, fill it with air and call it festive, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy any of it.

Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where’s the Tylenol?

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