Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do Northerners and Southerners decorate differently?


The North vs. South debate has reared its head in the pages of The Charlotte Observer once again – and this time, you can’t blame me.

It seems some contributors to the Observer’s “The Buzz” section on the editorial page feel there’s a difference in style of Christmas decorating between Northerners and Southerners. This debate has spilled over into our Letters to the Editor.

Apparently, multicolored blinking lights and multi-themed yard decorations are more common in Northeastern states, according to buzzers. I also recently heard a Northern transplant complaining Southerners “don’t really decorate for Christmas.” Today's Buzz had an interesting conjecture: "My theory: Southerners display white lights because it reminds us of snow. Northerners use colored lights because white lights don’t show well on snow."

From growing up here, I’ve found that certain houses go all-out, some don’t decorate at all, and most homes are middle-of-the-road, with a lighted tree peeping through a front window, a wreath on the door and perhaps some lighted candles in other windows or some icicle lights on a railing. Giant inflatable Santas and snowmen (and one Hannukah dreidl I’ve seen) are scattered around. Colored lights do seem less common than white lights.

On the few occasions I’ve traveled at Christmastime (which is rare because most of my family is here), I haven’t noticed a dramatic difference, so I’m hoping you guys will fill me in. If you’ve lived or traveled in the North, do you think there’s a difference in holiday decorating between the two regions? Or is this just a misperception by a few folks?

(And I’m sure I don’t even need to warn you to hold off on the name-calling, as those comments will quickly be deleted).

70 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a misconception! I've seen just as much tacky decorating by native Southerners as I did growing up in California...

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There isn't any difference as far as "North" and "South." It's all personal taste and the neighborhood.

We had many friends in Michigan who decorated in all white lights, and a few who decorated with color. The snow has nothing to do with it. You can still see white lights glowing at night.

I'm really not sure why this discussion even exists. It's absurd to me that we haven't got over this "north vs. south" thing. Why do southerner's think that people from the north "have no taste?" Are you really going to judge a whole region by a select few?

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares? Don't you have other things to report about? Your a grown woman - does this not seem childish to you?

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in the North and the South and I think the decorating is pretty much the same. I am in the North now and I choose to use white lights with the sentiment "less is more". A wreath on the door, a tree in the window, and garland on the deck...Simple, but festive. I do see houses that have a TON of lights and some that have none. So, I don't think there is that much difference between North and Sout decorating styles.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! What about the Westerners? Or Midwesterners? Or Southwesterners? How do they decorate?

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in my mid-40s and grew up in the area. I remember well in the 1960s and 1970s that you basically never saw all-white Christmas lights on people's homes or trees. They were always colored and oftentimes blinking. As I recall, it was sometime in the 80s that the trend towards white lights started and soon became common. I never really knew it was a North - South thing until someone brought that up a couple of years ago.

But the big inflatable yard displays and other such over-the-top (tacky, even) decorations didn't seem to become popular until fairly recently. I don't care if the folks that put up those hideous displays are from the North, the South or the Midwest...it needs to stop NOW! ;-)

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where you live, any inflatable, motorized, light-up or polyester/plastic crap sitting in a yard screams "class."

Lights are fine. They're festive. But we can do without the yard art.

Whoever thought these abominations would make pink flamingoes and lawn jockeys look tasteful.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

lol @ anonymous 10:55's superiority complex.

I love it when people use random discussions as a platform to show how mature they are when they don't engage.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stay focused on real issues. Try having a healthy debate on why a crook wwas elected as sheriff and what the potential impacts are and will be for this community.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The North-South thing is a myth. I've seen many bright, colorful and crazy decorations out in Texas and in local Charlotte neighborhoods such as Chantilly (pre-gentrification) and I have seen white lights, candles in windows and wreaths in New England. Decorations are interchangable.

This has nothing to do with location or class, but everything to do with fun vs. staid 9or what some uptight HOA will allow).

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it all comes down to personal taste, or family traditions. I have lived in the South my entire life and I love colored lights. My wife, however, is from upstate New York and has always preferred white lights. We decied to compromise and light the exterior of our house in white, while the tree on the inside is lighted with color. One thing we both agree on, however, is that we both detest those big inflatable monstrosities!

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY WOULD ANYBODY GIVE THE FIRST FLYING DAMN IN THE FIRST PLACE. CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? There's so many bigger issues; out of control immigration, out of control welfare with generation after generation after generation living lazy off the stuff, all the "poor" folks driving their Escaldes down to Social Services for Food Stamps and free presents for all their chaps......

Those are the issues. Not some debate over colored lights and stupid lawn decorations. Shoot, my Jewish neighbors don't even put up a Christmas tree! Can you believe that?

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in small South Carolina town in the 1960s, and my family's roots in that town go back to the late 1700s. I'm pretty sure you could have counted all the *Yankee outsider* families on one hand at that time.

And I remember plenty of multicolored lights, including on the official town tree. Big bulbs. Multicolored. They didn't blink, though.

I think my fellow Southerners are gonna have to find something else to blame on these carpetbaggers (and I'm sure they will - it is the season for complaining after all); we did multicolored thing without any of there help.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! Let's make that there and their. (I was distracted by a Yankee when I was typing that).

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inflatables have become popular because people are lazy and they are easy. Instead of spending half a day decorating with lights, plug in a couple of inflatables and get back to meaningless tasks like debating North vs. South Christmas decorating

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...In my opinion...
When I was young (I'm 55) we had the large colored lights on the tree and house. That's what everyone did, that's all that was available. When the tiny white lights came onto the market, everyone was so tired of the old stuff, it became very popular, and classy looking. Now, that's what most people down here grew up with, it goes with everything, every color house. etc. Funny thing is, a good friend of mine just told me recently that his wife said she wants colored lights now. I guess eventually old styles come back around in clothes and Christmas lights. Maybe up North, they are either behind or ahead of the curve, depending on how you look at it.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see why anyone has to get so confrontational about a simple, non-threatening topic like Christmas deocrations. There is no need to call someone immature because they ask a question about something that's not political or world changing in nature. It's also not meant to be a "North vs South" thing, it's a simple question about how people in different regions prefer to decorate. Get over yourselves.

My immature response is that if anonymous is so mature then they should know the difference between "your" and "you're". They mean two completely different things. You may want to come off a little more intelligent before you go calling other people names.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having spent half my life in Maryland, and the rest (so far) in Charlotte, I can say without a doubt there IS a difference in the decorating habits between the North(east) and South(east). And there's no problem with it -- but the contrast makes for interesting consideration.

The first difference is timing. In the North, household decorations generally go up the first or second week of December, and come down the first week of January. In the South, I've seen household decorations up (way) before Thanksgiving, and often they come down the day after Christmas, if they come down at all. And yes, I've seen "year round" decorations as frequently in the North as the South.

My wife is a native Charlottean, a fact she reminds me of frequently. The first year we decorated for Christmas together, she was horrified when I suggested we use any colored lights. "Colored lights are tacky," she said.

To me, colored lights evoke some of my childhood, remembering those big C7 or C9 colored bulbs glowing in the (infrequent, but real) snow. And think back to those nostalgic Christmas films/cartoons like "A Christmas Story," "Rudolph," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," et al -- barely a white light in sight. Yes, you do see white lights "up North," but based on my observation, the South has the monopoly on the clear-light trade.

To me, the hurricane of clear lights that befalls the South every Christmas makes everything look like the food court in the shopping mall. Icicle lights, net lights on shrubs, lights on trees, lights on palm trees (at least one in my neighborhood), and on and on.

With some exceptions, though, those old Yankees are still way ahead on the decorating scheme that my late grandfather used to call the "Pete's Bar" method of decorating for Christmas. First, you put a plastic light up Santa and reindeer on the roof. Then, string colored lights around the roof perimeter, and make sure the leftover lights just hang off the edge of the roof (don't bother trying to hide 'em). Any leftover lights (ones that blink at odd intervals are preferred) can be draped over the bushes, shrubs, lawn implements, etc. Then, add a few rows of light-up candy canes, marching Santas, snowmen, and then complete the tableau with a light-up manager scene. Voila: the house now looks like "Pete's Bar," which may or may not have been an actual establishment in Baltimore.

Christmas decorations are a matter of personal preference, whether they be a tasteful, servant-installed display on Bruton Smith's palatial estate, or a single strand of blinkers in a lonely window in the poorest home in town. I welcome them all, because from one bulb to the millionth, they all celebrate the same thing. And that's OK.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having spent half my life in Maryland, and the rest (so far) in Charlotte, I can say without a doubt there IS a difference in the decorating habits between the North(east) and South(east). And there's no problem with it -- but the contrast makes for interesting consideration.

The first difference is timing. In the North, household decorations generally go up the first or second week of December, and come down the first week of January. In the South, I've seen household decorations up (way) before Thanksgiving, and often they come down the day after Christmas, if they come down at all. And yes, I've seen "year round" decorations as frequently in the North as the South.

My wife is a native Charlottean, a fact she reminds me of frequently. The first year we decorated for Christmas together, she was horrified when I suggested we use any colored lights. "Colored lights are tacky," she said.

To me, colored lights evoke some of my childhood, remembering those big C7 or C9 colored bulbs glowing in the (infrequent, but real) snow. And think back to those nostalgic Christmas films/cartoons like "A Christmas Story," "Rudolph," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," et al -- barely a white light in sight. Yes, you do see white lights "up North," but based on my observation, the South has the monopoly on the clear-light trade.

To me, the hurricane of clear lights that befalls the South every Christmas makes everything look like the food court in the shopping mall. Icicle lights, net lights on shrubs, lights on trees, lights on palm trees (at least one in my neighborhood), and on and on.

With some exceptions, though, those old Yankees are still way ahead on the decorating scheme that my late grandfather used to call the "Pete's Bar" method of decorating for Christmas. First, you put a plastic light up Santa and reindeer on the roof. Then, string colored lights around the roof perimeter, and make sure the leftover lights just hang off the edge of the roof (don't bother trying to hide 'em). Any leftover lights (ones that blink at odd intervals are preferred) can be draped over the bushes, shrubs, lawn implements, etc. Then, add a few rows of light-up candy canes, marching Santas, snowmen, and then complete the tableau with a light-up manager scene. Voila: the house now looks like "Pete's Bar," which may or may not have been an actual establishment in Baltimore.

Christmas decorations are a matter of personal preference, whether they be a tasteful, servant-installed display on Bruton Smith's palatial estate, or a single strand of blinkers in a lonely window in the poorest home in town. I welcome them all, because from one bulb to the millionth, they all celebrate the same thing. And that's OK.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from the Southwest, and we use more color lights than white, but we don't get snow, or even cold weather all that much, so maybe the lights let us feel festive. But when I moved here, I noticed white lights are the norm, which are nice and classy, but doesn't scream out "festive" to me.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus is born ya'll!!!!!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think bug inflatable snowmen are tacky? In my neighborhood, there's a manger set up on front yard, beautiful with white lights and one lighted deer in it. Imagine that, a manger with no Baby Jesus, just a deer...

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this wasn't a North vs. South thread then what is with the title and why doesn't it mention any other region in this country other than North and South? Lots of other people from lots of other places move and live here too...

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless your defensive little heart. I'm a born and raised southerner. I just don't like anyone who thinks they are more high and mighty than anyone else. Life doesn't have to be such a struggle and a fight. Why isn't it possible to have a simple discussion anymore without someone getting offended? Again, get over yourselves.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The war is over ya'll and you blue bellied scumbags are still causing trouble with your white lights and everything.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living in NC, but being raised in Michigan and also living in Boston, I can assure you it is personal taste and if you have young kids at home or coming to visit.

While the amount of snow and food is certainly different, decorations are varied where ever you go. I have seen it snow at the rate of 4 inches an hour and by the next morning, you are seriously buried. Just get the snow blower and shovel. No big deal, you will just be a couple hours late to where you are going. But in the south, the availiablity of equipment and people's experience just doesn't allow that to happen. So the entire situation is approached a little different. No one is right or wrong. Just different.

Merry Christmas !

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decorating is the same. I see just as much white lights in the north as I do here. Its all about personal taste.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGAIN YANKS!!!
1-95 NORTH

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi:
Having lived in Massachusetts all my life, I can tell you that Christmas decorating styles have changed through the years. In the early years, most everyone strung multi-colored Christmas lights on their shrubbery or front porch. In the last few years, people switched to all-white lights. Neighborhoods now have a mixture of tasteful white lights, gaudy blinking multi-colored lights, inflatable Santas-you name it - it's out there. I have been to North Carolina once during the summer so cannot compare Northern or Southern Christmas decorations. I guess whatever makes you happy - go for it!
Merry Christmas to All!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to Charlotte from Wisconsin back in the late 80's, ever since then I have observed so many different things we the people do. In my opinion, I do think the Northerners do decorate with much more color, and they certainly go out of their way with the inflatables. I personally think that more colored lights feels more festive.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carolina Native above is 100 percent correct. I'm a Charlotte native and when I was little we decorated with multicolored Christmas lights and even had a huge bigger than lifesize Santa by the front door until some thugs came by one night and destroyed him. The white lights were first used and popularized by the more affluent Charlotte neighborhoods then everyone started using them. I prefer color myself. McAdenville has always used colored lights, for several decades!

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's funny how a lot of these comments are about "more important things in the world to report on" yet those people continue to comment on this particular article. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

Obviously if you are reading this article, you are clearly interested in it. The title pretty much gives it away... sheesh...

Now to comment on the actual article, I've never thought about the differences being anything other than a personal preference...but interesting thoughts.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's funny how a lot of these comments are about "more important things in the world to report on" yet those people continue to comment on this particular article. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

Obviously if you are reading this article, you are clearly interested in it. The title pretty much gives it away... sheesh...

Now to comment on the actual article, I've never thought about the differences being anything other than a personal preference...but interesting thoughts.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's all just a matter of personal taste, not a "North vs. South" thing.

When I was a kid, we decorated our Christmas tree using colored lights... but at some point, when the colored bulbs would inevitably burn out (this is in the days when a string of Christmas lights could last 20 years or more), we started replacing them with white bulbs. Not sure why, we just did. Now I am pretty sure everyone in my immediate family uses white bulbs. Maybe it looks classier, maybe it helps you appreciate your Christmas tree ornaments more. Some of my cousins still use colored bulbs.

Again, I think it's just a matter of personal taste. It's funny to see people make such a big deal out of it... and I have to wonder if Leigh was just bored today when she wrote this article. ;-)

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author posed a SEASONAL topic of discussion, something light-hearted and in the spirit of the season. If you want to debate politics, try a political forum.

My entire family is NC native for at least five generations. My Grandmother, a tobacco farmer's wife from rural Eastern NC, decorated with multi-colored C7 (the big bulbs) bulbs because that's what was available to decorate with at the time. She also used tinsle, but you rarely see that anywhere anymore. Mini white and multi-colored lights weren't even in many stores until the late 70s, maybe even the early 80s. Decorations are just a trend.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The North vs South thing is so 19th Century.

Seriously though. Let's get over it.

The Civil War was a long time ago and I have good friends up north and down south. People are people.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Chicago, and have been here for almost 20 years. I have definitely seen a difference between North and South. My husband, a Charlotte native has always used white lights and a very tasteful decorations, an elegant tree. He laughs at me and says my tree is gawdy, but I love it. I am slowly turning him around to the more is more idea for holiday decorating. I still decorate like I am up North. I bet all the people you see here with colored lights are transplants like myself.

On a side note: to all you commenting about the "real" things that need to be discussed. Why are you wasting your time even reading this column? Go fix the world as you see it and quit wasting your precious time!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, you have interpreted the differences exactly right. I am originally from California and because of the diversity of the culture there, one might see anything and everything. I vote for just enjoying the various decorations and the reason for the season.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting topic... sure does help keep our minds off of the current tragedies going on in our world. :) However, I just wanted to add.... Does any of you have actual work to do instead of posting your comments about North/South decorations?!?!? heehee... just had to add that!

Oh, and my opinion is the same as most others... everyone has their own different tastes and it surely doesn't matter if you are in the North, South, East, West, MiddleEast, Mexico, etc.

Again, kuddos to the creator of this little article. I am sure another article would be appropriate to compare how the North/South shower, eat, smell differently. LOL!

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mandy, bless your little heart to hell. Maybe you need to get over yourself. Nobody said anything negative about the South. Most people are just tired of seeing these petty articles. We decorate with white lights and my neighbors across the street are Southern and decorate with flashing colored lights, some white lights, and even have those tacky blow up decorations. Oh my!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the question should be
"Do the various regions of the United States have differing views on the matter of winter holiday decore?" Not as much fun but for all the PC's out there this shouldn't insult anyone.
And this is a fun thing to "fuss" about. We can argue climate control, war, famine , politics any ole time but winter holiday decoration only comes round once a year.
Now, I was raised in Maiden back in the 50's. We always went to the woods and cut down a cedar, hauled it back to the house and covered the branches with those type C lights, didn't twinkle, but colorful. After the Shiny Brights were put on came the tinsel battle. Is it put on one strand at a time or can't it just be thrown at the tree. The one strand at a time won out.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really a matter of good taste that comes from being raised in the South. White lights and dignified decorations take the prize to plastic, floating Walmart Glitz.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it might have to do with whether there are lots of kids in the neighborhood. I was a white light kinda of girl (from NY) until I had kids and realized how much they love colored lights - and the more the better.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank goodness we have some place to go for just a few moments and talk about something more fun than the usual worries we have to deal with day in and day out! I am a Yankie and have both white and colored lights up, I can't seem to make up my mind! especially since I started dating a true southern gentleman, he loves the colored lights and I like the white lights with red bows. We put two trees up this year, his has colored lights and mine white lights. Most importantly we are having fun competing for the best decorated tree! I appreciate all the decorations everyone is putting up, it makes for a fun night to go out with the family looking at all the lights. Don't forget the real reason for the season! Merry Christmas and not Happy Holdays!

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Large color lights were all that were available years ago. That's what we strung on the tree for decades.

Like a previous poster stated, the all-white lights became more popular in the late 80's, and even resulted in more snooty homeowner associations banning colored lights as tacky and low-class.

I don't see light preference as a North-South thing at all. But another thing that is relatively new for natives is buying live trees grown in the mountains.

Any true Southerner knows that the only real Christmas tree is a cedar tree cut down off the fence line on the back forty.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found a distinct difference in some of the decorating at Christmas. In the South, I often see homes with a wreath hanging in each of the windows of the home in addition to the front door - something that you don't see in the North (specifically CA). I like the difference. I currently live in CA and hope to be retiring in NC. We have always decorated with colored lights. It seems that colored lights went out of style and were replaced with the white lights to give the illusion of ice or snow.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the north is officially defined as north of the Mason-Dixon line clearly the Xmas decorations are much more pronounced only because the weather is much colder with a lot of snow usually as the ideal setting for the Holydays that is really used to kickoff the winter season.

What most people fail to realize is the northeastern midwestern states are basically 1000s of small towns and very cohesive and community oriented knowing each other by name usually. Southerners have the impression that the north is a bunch of forlorn cold hearted big cities when in fact that couldnt be more from the truth but most of the 50 million transplants who have moved south are from the big cities or their immediate suburbs and not from the small towns and communities who are much more less mobile rooted antiquated and stable like much of the south.

We feel Xmas is more appreciated in smaller towns in the north and south irrespective of decorations. The whole season of Xmas took place allegedly in the small town of Bethlehem anyway outside the big city of Jerusalem. The Messiah was from a small town called Nazereth and actually lost his life and was arrested tried tortured humilated and killed in the big city. Some things never change.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a New England Yankee transplant, I don't ever recall seeing the beautiful white paper bag candle luminaries many Southerners display Christmas Eve. I've been told the luminaries symbolize the desire to "light the way" for Jesus to come into your home. Is this true and how did this tradition start?

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks anynonymous. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and may God take some of that hate out of your heart. It's a shame you have to resort to something so hateful to try and get you point across. You need to lighten up and enjoy life a little more. There is enough in this world to get worked up about and this should not be one of them. Focus all this negative energy toward acutally doing something good. I wouldn't call anyone childish again, that last comment surpasses anything anyone else could do or say.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the luminaries being used to "light the way" for Jesus to come to your home but I do remember seeing them as a child. A neighborhood near my grandmother's house would line the streets with them leading to a cul--de-sac. My family always called it Santa's runway and it was a tradition to go see it every Chritmas Eve. That neighborhood has gone down hill so bad that it doesn't exist anymore. Guess we won't be seeing any this year anyway because of the ban!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Maverick said...

I don't know how it got started that Southerners used white lights. When I was growing up, we always used multi-colored lights on our tree.

I still follow that tradition today when lighting my home and yard.

As for all white lights, I find it just plain boring or, maybe sterile would be a better word.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:54 commented on a manger with no baby Jesus: I am an NC native, and it used to be customary not to put Jesus in the manger until Christmas Day. This is Advent season, we are waiting for His arrival. I'll bet that if you go by that house on Christmas Day, baby Jesus will be in His manger. Unless someone stole the figurine...

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte is banning the Southern Christmas Eve tradition of "lighting the way" luminaries for Jesus!? I might as well head back North.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha! No!! there is a burning ban and it includes luminaries.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I've noticed in the Charlotte area is that white lights are mandated through many of the area's subdivision by-laws.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the jury out on Jesus's frozen water walking skills, I can understand why Northerners don't display "lighting the way" luminaries in front of their houses. It's not that we're inhospitable or anything it's just that ice can be very unforgiving. Banning luminaries in Charlotte however is just downright wrong. Bah, Humbug!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you can put out the battery operated candles but it doesn't have the same effect.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with all those who concluded the differences to be personal and not regional. I thought the comment about tinsel was interesting.

I wonder how much influence magazines like Southern Living, Martha Stewart and others have had on our holiday decor.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many more jewish and Muslims and Hindu families live here now; My guess is they dont have lights up at all;

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yankees have abraham lincoln at the top of the tree Southerners have Jefferson Davis; Yankees have Barrack,Hilliary and Edwards at the top of the tree , Southerners still have a picture of Bush. Yankees like dark blue lights and southerns like a greyish type of light; Southerners put a bottle of southern comfort uptop we put ect..... and so on

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One's decorations, or even lack thereof, is a personal thing.

Why does everyone have to continue supporting stirring up trouble with the words chosen.

North v. South
Black v. White
Muslim v. Infidel

Tags, Tags, Tags. ... I am not saying that we should all be politically correct either .. becasue now-a-days that goes overboard, too .... e.g. Holiday Tree v. Christmas Tree ... I mean you don't tell someone to call a Menorah a Holiday Candle Holder, do you?!

Why couldnt the title of the article been more like "How people enjoy different decorations."

Why can't we just all be who we are ... human beings ... and respect each human being the way would like to be respected.

And enough with the Yankee and carpetbagger comments, the war is over and these United States are no longer confined to limited horse and buggy travel where you can only live in one place for 10 generations. We all move about and that will not change ... enjoy life because, frankly, Yankees are not the ones you need to worry about!! :)

Thanks for reading.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in the South, the North, the Midwest and Colorado. It's all the same, you either like the big all out decorations or you go for the small tasteful displays. I remember driving around Charlotte in the late 60's when some houses used all multi colored lights on every tree and bush in the yard. Some had all one color lights but they were not white lights. Other houses chose to use only a wreath on the door and candles in the windows.
I also think that more people are using the blow up decorations because of a lack of space to store Christmas decorations. They come down and go in a small box for storage.
Seen it all.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is going downhill with all the north vs. south topics. I thought that we'd see some change with the thread about road names, but I guess that was only temporary.

People new to town have better things to worry about than why their neighbor's decorations aren't ideal. Let's come up with a real topic next time.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. What's with the North-South obsession? Are you and your editors turning to talk radio's cheap ploy about conflict = ratings? Show you really care about Charlotte stop stirring up something. Or, would you have a job then?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dontPeople have enough to do in this town I NEVER noticed what color Peoples light were. Hey if you dont like my clor of light s dont look at them besides how can you tell a Northern lights from Southern Gee wizz look get a hobby like I have

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think white lights are just another PC surrender to those who are anti-Christmas. "We don't want to offend anyone, so we'll just put up white lights." Come on people, one time of the year can't we just have fun while showing our Christmas spirit with colored lights of our own choice.
The more 'PC' Pansy Controlled we become, the less freedom we have. Merry Christmas to All, whether you like it or not!

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte's Christmas-Light "History." Never imagined I'd type those words.

In the 60's and early 70's, Charlotte neighborhoods were filled with colorful lights in each WINDOW - mostly the 'group of 3 molded-plastic candles. You could almost memorize the pattern -the Smith's-red, Jones - orange, Mrs. So-and-so - blue. BLUE? "What candle has blue flames?"- you would think - but then decide it didn't matter, because you were only 9. In picture windows, the TREES were loaded with fat colorful lights, unless you went with the "trendy" silver foil tree, with the spinning "colored" reflecting light! The main focal point for many homes, in all parts of Charlotte, was the DOOR DECORATION-an elegant wreath, with a spotlight focused on the door to display your handmade creation and welcome friends to your home. (and be judged for best door decoration by your local garden club!)

In the mid '70's, the 'invention' of the MINI-colored lights made the big ones seem "SO 1950!" that people switched to them pretty fast. They looked good with your collection of bicentennial/little house on the prairie/waltons/ homemade/country ornaments.

In the late 70's/early 80's,the MINI-WHITE lights appeared on the scene & freshened up the tree. Then the CLEAR CANDLES WITH BRASS BASE appeared and looked MUCH MORE like a real candle than a blue one! So traditional Christmas, so Williamsburg. Back then,who knew they would take over the city and make it devoid of its colorful light history?!

Our Charlotte "light history" was more about what brought to us by the buyers in our local stores- not what we freely chose online.

Fastforward to today, I use a bit of my native Charlottean traditions, my midwest college years, my spouse's northwest years
and it all works out because it is about OUR family's tradition and our celebration of Advent and Christmas.

Charlotte is like many cities now, with such a blending of traditions that it is a blur now. As long as people don't have to live beside the Transiberian Orchestra house, they should just enjoy each other's decorations for what they are.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now the new lights don't all go out when one bulb dies. Remember when we had to test every light bulb to find the blown one. What a pain! I'll go for all white lights as long as I don't have to put up with that any more!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We have lived both Northern and Southern parts of the country and I don't agree with this article. We presently live in New England and being a Christian I am ashamed to admit, it is known as the least religious section of the US.
As far as decorating for Christmas, New Englanders for the most part don't seem to decorate as much as they did in Philadelphia area and New Jersey and when they do, it's more white candles in windows and wreaths .....when we lived just north of Tampa, many people decorated and not with white lights, mainly colored, the white light lit homes were mostly the wealthy ones....different strokes for different folks...both type lights are beautiful...but I suppose due to my dad always putting up multi colored lights on our home and tree, I followed suit once I married and had my own children. Colored lights to me are cozy, homey, no matter what part of the country I live. What concerns me more is more and more people get offended when you wish them a Merry CHRISTmas.....and stores and businesses mainly say Happy Holidays to include all walks of life.....but people need to remember what Christmas is about....it is celebrating the birth of Christ so in our family we say,"Merry Christmas"....not out of respect to others but to celebrate our Saviors birth which the season to us is all about...not the color lights on your home.

4:18 AM  

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