West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

The Holiday Outdoor Decorating Police

Things that bug me, Christmas, Neighborhood

I think it’s time, people. It’s almost March…or it will be when you’re reading this. I know, there’s still snow on the ground. Nevertheless, it’s time to take down the Christmas decorations. That’s right, I’ve designated myself the holiday outdoor decorating police. Feel free to object.


I know that some people, including my neighbors, won’t like me for saying this. It’s not really any of my business. But it kind of is, because all of us get to/have to look at your dated decorations that you don’t see when you’re inside your house. We see the now brownish garland wrapped festively around your porch, the lights strung on your trees and the wreaths hung on your front door.


Yes, it’s cold outside and taking down these dated holiday reminders will require stomping through the snow and cold. But let’s be honest: How many days below zero have we had this winter? And for those of you that plan ahead, your halls may have been decked since Thanksgiving!


Here’s my primary rationale: It’s hard living in Wisconsin. The winters are long and grey. I believe that what gets us through it all is the hope that spring and summer are just around the corner. But when I drive around and see the deflated Santa Clauses, that hope diminishes, just a little bit. Do we really need anything else that depresses us even a little bit?


And City of Wauwatosa, I’m talking to you as well. I’ve seen some of those gold balls and garland wrapped around the city light poles. It’s time to ditch those reminders of a holiday gone by.


What do you think? Am I being too harsh? If you’re a holiday outdoor decorating enthusiast, tell me why it’s a good thing to still have that wreath on your front door. And is it too soon to complain about the Valentine's Day hearts that are still up?



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