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Grandiose Spending
Old 11-11-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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Grandiose Spending

DW and I were out in the yard this weekend raking leaves. It's a task I deplore and it's been taking a LOT of time the last few weeks, but we deal with it.

Midway thought the task, my neighbor came over to ask our plans for Christmas lights. I could spend a good 9 paragraphs telling all of you about this neighbor, but I will save you the time. He's interesting...let's keep it at that.

It really seemed to me that he was wanting assurance that we would "keep" with the neighborhood tradition and not have anything tacky in the yard. Mind you, we are in a fairly nice neighborhood and the homes are well taken care of...I get his concern. DW told him that we needed to do some measuring and outlined our fairly basic plan. He then went on to tell us that they know of a fantastic service that will come and install/remove your lights and ever store them! Sounds nice to me...so how much? Well, apparently this service *starts* in the $1200-1500 range! What the?!? And to my amazement, when decorations were coming down in January, it looked like the 3 houses that are around us all use this service!!

Now, I am not here to judge, but I cannot fathom spending that kind of dough on a service that takes DW and I about 8 hours to do. Grandiose spending in my opinion. I guess same vein as "BLOW THAT DOUGH" but just an observation I made.

I think I might set up something like this...just for the neighbor.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
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I'm a practicing Christian but just don't get all the insanity that goes into Christmas lighting, especially when 99% of the stuff is made in a country that doesn't have a lot of religious freedom.

But.. given that people are buying lights and other decorations that go up on the roof, on trees that are a couple of stories high, etc. it does make sense to me to hire out the work. I'm a big DIY person but am very wary of high-ladder work especially since I live alone. The money saved is not worth the risk of a major injury from falling off a high ladder.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:07 PM   #3
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But.. given that people are buying lights and other decorations that go up on the roof, on trees that are a couple of stories high, etc. it does make sense to me to hire out the work. I'm a big DIY person but am very wary of high-ladder work especially since I live alone. The money saved is not worth the risk of a major injury from falling off a high ladder.
That is a good point. I don't do ladders anymore, either but we haven't put any decorations on the roof in many, many years.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:10 PM   #4
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I like lights on the roof line, but haven't done it for years due to fear of death. I can get a company to put them all over the place for $600. That includes the lights, so I think we are going to do that this year. No risk of death, lots of lights. If it doesn't bring us joy, we won't do it again next year.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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... a fantastic service that will come and install/remove your lights and ever store them! ... I cannot fathom spending that kind of dough on a service that takes DW and I about 8 hours to do. Grandiose spending in my opinion. I guess same vein as "BLOW THAT DOUGH" but just an observation I made. ...
Actually I had a SCORE small business mentoring client that had just this kind of service. In addition to setup and teardown they also had wholesale sources for lights and could sell the clients whatever they needed.

They had plenty of business; our discussions were about possible line extensions that they could sell to the same clients, reducing the extreme seasonality of the decorating business. Window washing, lawn & snow service, etc.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:15 PM   #6
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The neighbor across us has a lavish exterior Xmas decoration that we enjoy looking. Otherwise, their house is dark on the exterior year round. Our's is the opposite. Minimal Xmas but lavish year round exterior lighting. We can have both but we've enjoyed watching their house and don't see a need why we need to have one for other people to see.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #7
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Actually I had a SCORE small business mentoring client that had just this kind of service. In addition to setup and teardown they also had wholesale sources for lights and could sell the clients whatever they needed.

They had plenty of business; our discussions were about possible line extensions that they could sell to the same clients, reducing the extreme seasonality of the decorating business. Window washing, lawn & snow service, etc.
As I understand it, the company that does it in our neck of the woods is primarily a landscape business. That would make sense since it's a pretty slow season with the exception of ALL THE LEAVES!
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:32 PM   #8
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I find that ridiculous. We have some outside decorations that require no electricity and easy to put up. I can’t imagine quizzing your neighbors about something like this.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:35 PM   #9
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Putting up the tree is as much as we've done for decades. We plan to walk around the neighborhood in shorts, admiring other people's Christmas lights. Or Hanukkah lights, should we see any.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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I consider "grandiose" several neighbors' practice of training strong outdoor lights on their homes, palm trees, etc. all night. Mr. A. calls the house across the street "the haunted house" because it is so lit-up, we can see the light through our window shades.

These are nice houses, but not remotely mansion-like. No doubt it is anti-theft, but the presentation comes off as something of an overstatement. Especially the green, pink, and yellow lights.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:48 PM   #11
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We have never cared about what other people did or thought. So it would be water off a ducks back to us. We cannot control what they think so why concern ourselves with it?

I think too many people are worried about what others will think of them or their actions instead of what is best for them. Never could understand that.

We live in an upscale area. Few people put out lights any more. I strung some last week before the snow and cold weather came. Took me all of 20 minutes.

We are financially secure. Cannot imagine paying someone $1200-$1500 to do it. Heck, that is the price of a couple of airfares to Thailand or Europe for us!
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:00 PM   #12
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I think that one man's grandiose is another man's necessity.

Depends upon what you want and want to do with your money. What we spend on our boat upkeep many people would call grandiose.

We all have our splurges be it boats, cars, first class flight or whatever.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:02 PM   #13
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...

We are financially secure. Cannot imagine paying someone $1200-$1500 to do it. Heck, that is the price of a couple of airfares to Thailand or Europe for us!
+1
We put a few lights out on our bushes, I love when snow covers them a bit and they glow at night.

Instead of paying someone for the light service we would rather spend a week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean during the Winter as it's about the same cost.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:06 PM   #14
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.............. I could spend a good 9 paragraphs telling all of you about this neighbor, but I will save you the time. He's interesting...let's keep it at that. ........
My last house was next to such a neighbor and we had to endure this yearly ritual. It wasn't just all the trucks and hoists, but the display was so bright we had to close the shades. And the rest of the year there were the never ending landscapers with their leaf blowers and trimmers, but I will save you the time.......
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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I guess it comes from being raised by the generation who grew up in the depression, but it would never occur to me to actually pay somebody to do this kind of thing. For that matter, it would never occur to me that such a service company even existed.

But, it don't bother me none.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:15 PM   #16
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OH, and as far as "over the top" decorating goes I do enjoy seeing it. There's one street in our older section of town where all the houses for several blocks do this and it's really cool. There was a house outside Richmond where multiple travel buses actually stopped and let out a couple of dozen people on the street. That would annoy me, I must say, if it went on past a certain time. But I plead guilty for making a point to drive by that house every year.

My current neighbor across the street used to go over the top for Halloween. I quite enjoyed seeing that, but it was for one evening and lights didn't keep me awake at night. The only fallout we had from that was having to buy extra candy, which made us happy.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:10 PM   #17
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It really seemed to me that he was wanting assurance that we would "keep" with the neighborhood tradition and not have anything tacky in the yard.
So are you new to the neighborhood, or do you have a reputation from past years?

Around here Christmas light hanging is usually offered by people who are fund-raising for something, like high school athletes earning money to go to a tournament, or young Navy or Marines supporting Toys for Tots.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #18
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DW and I were out in the yard this weekend raking leaves. It's a task I deplore and it's been taking a LOT of time the last few weeks, but we deal with it.

Midway thought the task, my neighbor came over to ask our plans for Christmas lights. I could spend a good 9 paragraphs telling all of you about this neighbor, but I will save you the time. He's interesting...let's keep it at that.

It really seemed to me that he was wanting assurance that we would "keep" with the neighborhood tradition and not have anything tacky in the yard. Mind you, we are in a fairly nice neighborhood and the homes are well taken care of...I get his concern. DW told him that we needed to do some measuring and outlined our fairly basic plan. He then went on to tell us that they know of a fantastic service that will come and install/remove your lights and ever store them! Sounds nice to me...so how much? Well, apparently this service *starts* in the $1200-1500 range! What the?!? And to my amazement, when decorations were coming down in January, it looked like the 3 houses that are around us all use this service!!

Now, I am not here to judge, but I cannot fathom spending that kind of dough on a service that takes DW and I about 8 hours to do. Grandiose spending in my opinion. I guess same vein as "BLOW THAT DOUGH" but just an observation I made.

I think I might set up something like this...just for the neighbor.
I'd like to hear one or two more paragraphs about the neighbor.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:23 PM   #19
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Thanks to solar power, I have a small set of 'fairy' lights that I can toss over some of the shrubbery in the front. In the Winter I only get 2-3 hours of light from the batteries, but that is enough for 90% of the people who will drive by my place after dark. I also have a set of lights that plugs in and they are on a timer. That's about it for outdoor lights. Given that less than 1/2 of the homes in my area decorate with lights, I figure that puts me in superior company.

Inside, I decorate a bit more as I enjoy the Christmas season. It all condenses down to about 6 banker's boxes and is easy up and easy down. My big Christmas splurge is baking a few stollens, and several batches of biscotti from the recipe I got at a cooking class in Italy. Oh, I also make a big batch of my mother's nut cookies. I have never seen anybody else make these cookies. They are hybrid of a pastry and a cookie, and they are delicious.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:34 PM   #20
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The OP's location is "Country Living".

Apparently, even country folks are not free from peer pressure to keep up the appearance.
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