For Some, There is Truly Sustainable Christmas Decor. And Then There’s the Rest of Us…

December 19th, 2009

While making the second of two treks to Big Boy’s elementary school yesterday (don’t ask), I noticed this gorgeous outside Christmas display.  What’s not to love? Sustainable, creative, festive, merry, bright….


And then there are those of us who are just used to things a bit more, shall we say, bright?


Let’s face it. You can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can’t take the New Jersey out of the girl. I may be able to pass myself off as a Washington, D.C. sophisticate from time to time, but when it comes to deep-rooted traditions like Christmas, I’m well…I’m tacky. I confessed it two years ago in this post, Green Tacky, Tacky.

At Christmastime, I dream of New Jersey lights:  big, honking, obnoxious, BIG LIGHTS like at the “Elvis House” in Mahwah, New Jersey and the Koenig Christmas House in Lodi, New Jersey, which features 43,000 lights synchronized to music and a bowling Santa scene.

I tried to use only the most  tasteful LED lights, like the white icicles that look like a picture straight out of Southern Living Magazine. But they were…boring. So I compromised with these multi-colored LED strands we string through our bushes.


But they’re still….too boring.

I just…needed more….something tacky.

I tried to explain to my reserved British-born husband that next to those crazy light shows back in New Jersey, our display was positively modest. Why, all we have is  a Christmas countdown clock (pictured above),  towering eight foot tall inflatable Santasantaphoto

flanked by another towering inflatable snowman,


blinking choo choo train, miniature lighted Santas up the front walk, Mr. and Mrs. Claus sitting on our front porch, and of course the bushes accented by tasteful  energy-efficient LED lights. Why, I doubt we even qualify for a listing at!


Of course, as a self-professed “Green Mom,” I’m keenly aware of all the waste engendered by this display.  I published this plea two years ago for  tacky, tacky energy-efficient, recyclable, LED Christmas light displays. But two years later….still nothing in the stores. Yes, I have tacky LED Christmas displays, but they’re hardly sustainable. You can’t even replace a bulb! They’re designed to be thrown away after just a few seasons’ use.  My gosh, there’s got to be at least one or two other conflicted Tacky Greens out there who would buy sustainable tacky Christmas decor!

So why do it? Well, just as we have our Greener Traditions like Ye Olde Advent Calendar and the Reading of the Christmas Books, our tacky, tacky lawn has become a much anticipated annual event in our Bethesda neighborhood.  I now have a reputation to keep up! Ours is the house that the children  come to visit – to look and to gawk at Santa, Snowman, and the rest of our artificial friends.   We look out the front window and laugh at their pointed fingers and smiles. And to me, albeit a lot less green than I’d like, it sure does bring a lot of joy to us during this season of joy.

By the way, if you see any tacky, tacky LED outside Christmas light displays with replaceable bulbs,   PLEASE let me know where to find them!

— Lynn

Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

5 Responses to “For Some, There is Truly Sustainable Christmas Decor. And Then There’s the Rest of Us…”

  1. Sommer on December 19, 2009 6:58 pm

    Yes, being tasteful does matter to some but to others they are captured by the spirit of x-mas and what they feel is important. The “twinkling” can be decreased, the use of eco-friendly light as must, a decrease in plastic things glowing can be decreased but stores will still sell thing junk. Consumers must decided to not buy it – how do we help them decide to not buy the junk that wastes energy, is bad to produce and ends up in the landfill???
    .-= Sommer´s last blog ..Healthy, Nutritious Snack Ideas for Winter Break =-.

  2. Tweets that mention Organic and Green Mom Blog | For Some, There is Truly Sustainable Christmas Decor. And Then There’s the Rest of Us… at Organic Mania -- on December 19, 2009 8:49 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Green Moms Carnival, Lynn Miller. Lynn Miller said: Tacky, tacky green. Yes, I have one of THOSE lawns: #tacky09 […]

  3. Ken Norkin on February 2, 2010 1:17 pm

    File this belated comment under reminders for Christmas 2010.

    If you love big honkin’ Christmas lights, get yourself up to the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore. Specifically 34th Street (700 block, between Keswick Rd. and Chestnut St.).

  4. Lynn on February 3, 2010 4:54 pm

    You’re so right, Ken, I’ve heard about this but never yet made it! Maybe next year! And thanks for stopping by…I had no idea you even read my blog! — Lynn

  5. francis on March 5, 2010 4:32 pm

    Spring is right around the corner-it’s a great time to look into all the latest research and benefits of clean and renewable geothermal energy-it makes a lot of sense tapping into the earth for this super efficient and sustainable answer to our energy problems.

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