12/05/2011 01:45 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2012

How Not to Decorate for Christmas: 5 Easy Tips!

As the Christmas season rolls into high gear, the decorations are going up in neighborhoods across the land at a swift pace. Home Depot and Michaels stores are all aflutter with eager housewives in 'mom jeans' and their equally bored and visibly annoyed husbands. Christmas spirit at its finest!

Last Saturday afternoon, I ventured into a New Jersey Michaels to buy tape (f--king genius move, I know!) and was utterly amazed at the amount of tacky, unnecessary crap we put into our homes year after year during the holidays. I wanted to do mini decor interventions on half the customers in there. At first it was funny, then it was just kind of sad. A lot of these people looked like they'd be far better off keeping the money in their pockets than spending them on the fake blue glitter-laden poinsettias. As if blue poinsettias could be real.

In many ways, I prefer a more traditional Christmas vibe. Tasteful decorations, real wreaths, red and green color schemes. Not that there aren't several other fabulous variations of Christmas-themed decor options, but there are a few items one should always, unfailingly, refrain from using. This is my list. Feel free to add to it!

Inflatable Dolls

Let's call them what they really are, shall we? Blow-up dolls. Sounds pretty creepy now, right? Well guess what? Your Christmas-themed Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Dora The Explorer, Thomas The Train, Rudolph and/or any other licensed character blow up doll is one of the worst inventions ever. First of all, they're visually offensive. Secondly, they look like shit, especially in the morning. Seriously, in the mornings they're all defeated and deflated and sorry looking. Some of them look like they just washed down 18 Xanax with Grandma's eggnog. Oh, and I love the people who put them on the roof. Awesome.

Fake Poinsettias
Ok, so these are downright criminal. I have seen them in electric blue, purple, orange, yellow, you name it. Gross. A bouquet of these looks like a Rainbow Brite bridal bouquet. Poinsettias are inexpensive and easy to take care of. "Oh, but they're dangerous, highly poisonous!" Honey, seriously. When was the last time your dog or your baby walked around the house eating the plants? Get the real ones and rip off the cheesy aluminum foil they're wrapped in, way cuter.

Singing & Dancing Santa
So, walk in any Walgreen's, CVS, Target or Walmart and there seem to be entire aisles devoted to these annoying fellas. In the beginning, like 15 years ago, they were kind of cute. One Santa, singing "Jingle Bells" or something. Now we have Harley Davidson Santa, Hip Hop Santa, Sax Playing Santa, Key West Santa and yes folks, there is a Farting Santa. If you have children, I assure you they will press the button at every available chance until the battery dies or you give them away, whichever comes first.

Giving this as a gift to an adult is the equivalent of giving someone's kid a drum set.

Multi-Colored Door Wreaths
Hmm, I like this one. When you're on line at Michaels (seems to be tacky crafty Christmas HQ) you can see all the Special Order Wreaths on display. They should sell tickets for this, really. All the wreaths are, of course, fake. Then they are adorned with every color in the rainbow, holly, glitter and those lovely fake poinsettias again! Then, they have the ones that look like glitter-dipped inner tubes! Whatever happened to just a plain old REAL wreath with a simple red ribbon or bow? Why must we feel like we are Plain Jane Christmas Decorator if we don't have a purple feather wreath on our door? Seriously, where were the purple feathers in Jerusalem anyway?

Life-Size Religious Display
Depending on where you live, these range from Life-Size Jesus to Paul Bunyan-Size Mary. NY Italian, Miami Cuban and Deep South neighborhoods are the clear favorites in this category. It's kind of like whoever has the biggest Nativity scene loves Jesus the most. Now, I'm Christian and I believe in God. I just don't think he needs to shack up on my lawn every December like an OWS squatter. I mean, I know we're all about putting the Christ back in Christmas, but keeping it to scale would seem the better route. There are beautiful and lovely nativity sets you can put inside your home.

Happy Decorating and remember... poinsettias are meant to be red. Hold the glitter.


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