Dear neighbors and all the folks in America who have decided to get into the Christmas spirit with large inflatable figures on their lawns,

It’s one thing to celebrate the holiday season by stringing your house and trees with lights.  I think they are very cheery and lighten my evening whenever I see lit houses.  Those reindeer that are made of Christmas lights are lovely (and I was tickled when I passed a house where the two reindeer had been arranged in a rather lewd position, although I’m sure that was probably some prank pulled off by local kids).  I even like some manger scenes, when done tastefully.

But what makes you think I want to see four or five 15-foot inflatable Santas in a row on my way home?  The amount of time and energy you must spend blowing up those dolls can probably be better put to use finishing your Christmas shopping or volunteering at a soup kitchen.

And while you might think you’re done inflating those things at 5 or 6 in the evening, I can tell you with all certainty that by 9:30 they are halfway deflated, and that by morning they are completely flat.  So the idea that passers-by might be cheered by a large Mickey Mouse with a Santa hat smiling and waving at them doesn’t hold water, since by the time I drive by, poor Mickey looks like he’s been hitting the eggnog a little too much.

And is it really necessary to have Santa, an inflatable sleigh, and an Eagles quarterback?  I know I live in the land of the Eagles fans, who are, by definition, a little bit nuts, but can you dial it back just a little bit?  For the kids?  Who wants to drive by a 15-foot generic football player that looks like he’s about to throw up rather than throw the ball, while an anemic Santa has overturned his sleigh?

Take some time to look at your house from an outsider’s perspective.  Look at it, not when you come home from work, but right after you watch Survivor.  Then look at your electric bill and think about how much money you might save if you just got rid of the inflatable dolls.  You could give that money to those charities that have been soliciting you these past couple of weeks, and then you could feel much better about yourself this season, and I would feel much better about you as well.

This has been a public service announcement.

Deck the Lawn with Tacky Blow-Ups
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