Monday, December 6, 2021

Still Life with Robin: Cute or Corny? The Blow-up Decoration Dilemma

by Peggy Robin

You know all those blow-up Santas you’ve been seeing out in front of houses lately? And not just Santas, but sometimes elves, too. And various other inflatable winter holiday decorations – they seem to be popping up all over the neighborhood. I’ve seen snowmen, carolers, an inflatable white Christmas tree, a light-up snow-globe, and a whole collection of Star Wars characters with reindeer antlers, Christmas hats and scarves. (You can see that display on Albemarle near Reno Road – stop by if you get a chance!). Also, a penguin, an angel, and some reindeer. I’m probably forgetting a few others.

My question is – yay or nay to these things?

Are they fun, whimsical, and cute? Or are they corny, crappy and much too cartoony?

They’re only up for a few weeks in December – so whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em or fall somewhere in between, it’s not a long-term feeling. But what happens if we get some bad winter weather? Do they blow over in high winds? Or get pierced by icicles falling from the roof?

Do people think they look cheap? Well, they’re not! Take a look at this particular 6.9 ft. Santa-on-his-sleigh-with-reindeer set that goes for 96 bucks: But that’s small change compared to this display of light-up snowmen on a sled for a whopping $520:

On the other hand, you could spend as little as $14.98 to get this 4 ft tall inflatable elf-boy at Wal-Mart: No, actually, you can’t – it’s sold out!

I’ve included just three photos that I took earlier today. I’m leaning toward the “yes, they’re cute” position, but if someone wanted to rant about them as commercialized kitsch, I could probably be persuaded to nod in agreement. That is, at least until someone else came along to tell me how much their kids love these things!


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally a day late, on Sunday.

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