Now that Thanksgiving is over and some festive souls have had their Christmas decorations out since Halloween, let me say two words about decorating: no mannequins.No mannequins in the yard. No mannequins on the porch for that matter. No mannequins anywhere.Let's face it, using mannequins for yard ornaments is just not normal. There's a house on a hill a few miles away that has a crowd of at least 15 mannequins out front every year.There are several shepherds, Joseph, Mary, three Wise Men, carolers, an angel and, of course, the Baby Jesus. Honestly, it looks like someone raided the display window at J.C. Penny's.Mannequins belong in the store, not in the stable. They're downright frightening with their austere stares. Sometimes they have no eyeballs, only fleshy indentations and Frankenstein postures. They give me the creeps.There's not one thing festive or whimsical about mannequin decor and no amount of fixing and fussing will ever change that.Think star lights wrapped around your porch rail or one of those giant inflated snowmen. Maybe a lighted wreath or an animated reindeer, but not hard plastic models adorned with thrift store clothing.Hey, I'm not fussy, even a property overloaded with a free-standing multicolored incandescent Santa with sleigh and eight reindeer, giant flickering candles, gingerbread houses trimmed with so many motion lights it triggers vertigo, dozens of spinning snowflakes hanging from the eaves and all the other outdoor ornaments you've collected since 1972 are by far better than a yard full of mannequins.Here's a little advice: if you have a nagging urge to re-purpose some mannequins you snagged at an auction or a going-out-of-business sale, spare your neighbors the angst. Talk yourself out of it. Get some help. I believe there's therapy for just such a problem.Thankfully, no mannequins have popped up in our neighborhood, that is, not yet.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a national and state award-winning columnist. Her columns have won first-place in National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. In the 2009 and 2010 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula's columns took five first-place awards statewide. To contact Paula, email firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her blog at www.my-story-your-story.blogspot.com and find her on Facebook.
2010© Paula Damon