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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Help Me To Help You To Help Me: My Moneymaking Idea To End The Madness Of Holiday Sloths

This idea is my gift to you.  Please make it happen and keep all the profits!
Dearest Readers, let's all check our calendars together, shall we? It is April; we can all agree upon that. Can we all agree, too, that in the past, oh, let's say...three months, we've had lots of holidays pass by, including the well-known New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter? Certainly a couple of those are Decoration-Worthy for some of our More Festive Neighbors. Yet, some of them are still Stuck--Irretrievably, it seems--in Christmas Past.

Case in point: the photo below is one I took on my walk a few days ago. Sadly, it is on my very own street, and as of this writing, its status has not changed.

Nativity Wreck:  The Wise Men were smart enough not to show up.
And until a week ago, a lighted wreath (illuminated 24/7) hanging out of a second story window was still a prominent feature of the front of this home.

Unfortunately, this Serial Offender is not the Rogue Holiday Decoration Sloth.  On my walk, they are everywhere.  And proud!  Like this home several blocks from my own.

Sometimes this is still lit up when I pass by in the morning!  Fun!
What's really mystifyingly egregious are the Christmas wreaths still left hanging on front doors and on mailboxes, which are hanging right next to the doors, under cover of the porch.  HOW HARD IS IT, EVERYONE?  JUST REACH OUT AND GRAB IT AND BRING.  IT.  INSIDE.  WITH YOUR MAIL.  ANY DAY NOW WOULD BE GREAT.

RIDICULOUS.  INSANE.  BEYOND LAZY.

So, here's my idea for a moneymaking business.  All you need is a van or a small pickup truck, an extension ladder, and a good supplier for sturdy cardboard boxes in various sizes.  Very No Frills.  A client calls and says, "Look.  I don't want to Undecorate my house.  All the festivity of November/December that translated into ten tons of tchotchky dripping from my home has now become a nightmare to me in February EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE HAD DOZENS OF VERY DECENT DAYS WITH NO SNOW AND TEMPERATURES ABOVE FORTY.  Please come and do it for me."  So, the Undecorator comes, strips all the Holiday Crap, and packs it into sturdy cardboard boxes.  He or she places the boxes either into a garage, shed, or into the home (no stairs will be climbed, and no lifting boxes overhead to put them up on shelves will be done, ever; the homeowner must place boxes into final storage).  Finally, the Undecorator presents the bill, takes payment, and it's over.  For all of us.

As far as looking for new business, please.  I could have found you no less than six new clients in a one and a half-mile radius of my own home, happily placing flyers, dreaming of the days when Christmas was really over well before Easter arrived.

So, what do you say?  Can you make this happen for me?


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28 comments:

  1. Brilliant business idea. I could be an Undecorator Supervisor, not wanting to get on any ladder but possessing eagle eyes that could help he or she on the ladder get all the crap off the house. Is keeping assorted Christmas decorations out all year round a way to fight the War on Christmas? I wonder...

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    1. Ally Bean--Thank you; I thought so.

      You bring up a good point about the need for at least two people on a job if there is a need for a ladder. Safety and spotting. (Although I will say that I gave up aeons ago on dealing with Rick when he gets the ladder out. Long story; not worth it.)

      As far as year-round Christmas decorations being a protest against the War On Christmas...I'm coming down firmly on the No side of that theory. I refuse to believe it's anything other than Just Not Feeling Like It, Period.

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  2. My irrigation company who services me three times a year started a business that would please you. I thought it was brilliant. They will come put up your outdoor Christmas decorations and take them down and pack them up. When I worked for a large florist in the '60s I did my share of decorating houses inside for rich people while our delivery drivers did the outsides. The drivers also took the stuff down off the houses after the holidays.

    It bugs me, too, to see Christmas stuff up practically around the calendar.

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    1. Jean--Yes, a great many of the landscape companies here will come and decorate the exterior of La Di Da Wealthy People's homes for them, and even decorate their eleventy theme trees. Most likely, they will then come and take it all down, too. HOWEVER, these people will not come and take down decor that they did not provide. That would be the difference in your/our business model. We'd/you'd take down any old crap, and no job would be too small.

      I know it is a Small Thing, and it really isn't seriously affecting me to have all these people leave their Christmas Crap out far, far past the actual holiday. It does make me a little depressed to see it not being very festive at all, rather, just looking stupid and bedraggled. To borrow a Dr. Phil-ism, it "offends my sensibilities." I think it makes my neighborhood look apathetic and junky and low-class.

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  3. Um. Er. I took my Winter Wreath down on Good Friday. In my defence, not that it is valid, the wreath has pine cones and berries, but no bow, twinkly lights or other festive Christmas gunk. And the deer are real.

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    1. I am also an offender; I just took down my colored lights from the porch railing. I thought they were pretty and not too Christmas-y, but still, were probably up too long. Oops

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    2. Mary G--I hear a lot of that: "It's Wintry, not Christmassy." IT IS APRIL. And were the berries in question HOLLY? That is CHRISTMASSY. Let's face it; put but one bow on it, and it becomes a Christmas wreath.

      Rose--Colored lights on a porch railing may be "pretty" to you, but they are Christmas Lights unless they are pink flamingos or little martini glasses or beachy lanterns or something decidedly NOT CHRISTMASSY. And if you took them down, then deep in your heart of hearts, you knew they were Christmas Lights and not just Pretty Decorations For Anytime.

      Thank you, however, for spelling "Oops" correctly, a rare talent on the Interwebs (as you know!).

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    3. I hadn’t noticed oops being spelled wrong, but “aww” is often (as in WAY TOO OFTEN) spelled “awe” which is WRONG and one of my personal pet peeves! Thank you for listening!

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    4. And yes, I knew they were Christmas lights. Guilty :)

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    5. Rose--Lucky for you that you've not been subject to the Phenomenon Of Opps, which is how a sadly large percentage of individuals online think that Oops is spelled. I'm stunned, especially since you are, I think, on the facebook.

      The horrifying misspelling of "awww" was lamented here Officially in one of my Defenders Of The Language posts. I share your dismay and despair. It is a constant thorn in my side (and eyes!) as I peruse the Interwebs and read text messages from a certain niece who is otherwise magnificent.

      The world is often Inhospitable to us, is it not?

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  4. I have had xmas lights on my lemon tree for freeze protection, just recently took them off since the threat of low temps seems past.

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    1. Sillyak--I hope you put up a sign saying so.

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    2. Silliyak--And that excuse doesn't fly with me if they are LCD lights, which stay cool to the touch.

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    3. ...or should that be LED lights? I don't feel like looking it up.

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  5. I think the problem here would be that they would have to make an effort to actually contact you, and that could be the deal-breaker. Somehow, you should just KNOW, I'm sure of it ...

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    1. Bridget--That's part of the problem, most assuredly. Most Offenders, being too lazy to get out there and take down their Tardy Holiday Decor, will be too lazy or apathetic to call the Undecorators, too. But that's the beauty of ADVERTISING and someone like ME, who will go to these homes with flyers and stick them inside their doors, making the prospect of Getting The Job Done Quickly And For A Reasonable Price an attractive option.

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  6. I have recently driven by a house that has a yard filled (literally - almost no yard to be seen) with deflated items from Christmas - snowmen, santa, trains, etc. The yard looks worse than a dump I used to go to in VT (to dump trash...not to pick - lol).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vera--Those inflatables (which I've written about here before) are the absolute worst. They are seldom inflated during the day, instead lying about the yards like enormous used condoms. It's hideous. Why aren't they inflated during the day? WE CAN SEE IN THE DAYLIGHT, YOU KNOW! Why can't they retreat into a large, flat disc? It seems an easy enough engineering solution. Even my little Hoover has a retractable cord. Geeze.

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  7. OH geez, the inflatables are generally going 24/7 around here (during the holidays, not now), and they TERRIFY the dog. He has to yell and bark and try to warn me that THERE IS SOME WEIRD THING FLOPPING AROUND OVER THERE AND IT COULD EAT US!!!! Poor boy.

    What is with some people. If you had the energy to put the things up, take them down! In January! Like NORMAL PEOPLE.

    Sorry, no more yelling today. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J@jj--You've identified the salient point there: Don't put stuff up that you are not willing to take down in a timely manner. That is the crux of the matter. The Holiday Spirit that energizes them in November/December is gone, gone, gone in January. It's not likely to resurge in February, and is even less likely in March, April, and then May. Solution: Don't even put that crap up.

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  8. No Christmas decorations on my condo (or elsewhere in the complex), so, happily, I am not suffering from DFS (Defrosted Reindeer Syndrome). I have never understood folks who leave Christmas deco up well past 'end of season.' Might be interesting to track these people to see if they *ever* take this stuff down, or if it is left up year round and they just 'turn the lights on' when it's the Christmas season, lol! What I have noticed locally is just the opposite: people put decorations on their lawns for every single feasible holiday: huge hearts or shamrocks on the front lawn for Valentine's or St. Patrick's day, etc. Years ago when I had to travel through several residential areas to get to my job, I felt like I was living in a kindergarten classroom. And let's not even get into the ones who place signs in their yards that are the equivalent of embarrassing bumper stickers: "MY DAUGHTER IS A CHEERLEADER AT X HIGH SCHOOL." Oh, well. Never mind.

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    1. Ortizzle--Oh, I can tell you right now that, as of today (4/5), all of the decorations that I've been bitching about ARE STILL UP.

      I love your analogy about the hyper decoration people making you feel like being perpetually in a primary classroom. I might rather have that as opposed to the Eternal Xmas around here.

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    2. Yes, Ortizzle, the notion that our lives should revolve around so many "holidays" drives me crazy. Is it the single most powerful organizer of our culture? Seems to be. I'll even give the Eternal Xmas people a little leeway, because they probably do actually celebrate that holiday.

      But when I see people's yards "decorated" for Halloween with plastic crap bought from Target, or all the other decorations you mention, my heart sinks. Do any of them even know who St. Patrick was, or the complications involved in his displacement of Celtic Christianity? And who the hell was St. Valentine, and why are we fussing about with Valentine hearts? And don't they have better ways to spend their money?

      The shallow, vacuous focus on these distorted interpretations of rituals that once had significance makes me very sad (sorry to use a tRump word). Yes, this topic hits some triggers for me; sorry to be so dramatic in my response. We all deserve and need better, especially the kindergartners.

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    3. Kate--I do understand how some of these Overblown, Misinterpreted Holidays can feel wrong to many people. It's how I feel about the way Salem, Mass. has chosen to exploit the sad fate of its early citizens hanged as witches (which they were not). Even some of their ancestors will say, "My great great...was a witch!" It's hurtful because...NO, SHE WASN'T. Those poor innocent women are aching for vindication from their own descendants, believe me.

      On the other side of the coin is the philosophy of a fellow blogger here who once said (and rather than look for her exact quote someplace in my vast Comments Repository, I will paraphrase), "Life is short and there is plenty of sadness to go around, so celebrate whenever you can." I try not to get Too Terribly Judgy about Over-Celebrators (except Halloween, which befuddles me because, are they celebrating Death? I mean, it's creepy and what's the deal?). My Judginess comes when they fail to take all their junk down in a timely manner and it ceases to be celebratory and becomes Depressing Litter and Property Devaluement.<----And if that is not a word, I just made it one.

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    4. Devaluation! I knew The Language already had a Word for this; it would not fail me. In my Irritation and Pique, I merely could not find it. Once I put my brain on Sort in calmer times, it winked at me from my Rarely Used folder.

      Yay!

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  9. I am the first to want the decor down especially Halloween. While I Love the build up to the candy feast, I want it all taken down right away. Im with you!

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    1. kathy b--It seems like a reasonable request, really. It's not even that I want Christmas decorations taken down the day or even the week following Christmas. I think having them taken down before the end of January--barring severe/inclement weather--is not being unreasonable.

      Today on my 6-block walk I counted ELEVEN homes still decorated in some way for Christmas. I walk down each street in order to get a mile and a half, then down one long boulevard to get home. One happy note: a mailbox wreath has been taken in. Unhappily, the Nativity Wreck on my street is still there, but high winds have now knocked down everything but one spotlight and the two creche side pieces. I am thisclose to finishing it off myself.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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