Want to know how to crash an entire neighborhood’s property values? Just tell homeowners that absolutely no Christmas lights or decorations are allowed, even inside the windows of a home. Violators will be fined. Then spread the word to all Realtors who might want to list property in that area. Bam! Your home is worth tens of thousands of dollars less.
Muirfield Village Homeowners Association. Mesa, Arizona.
Yep. The board has been threatening action against any fool who puts up Christmas decorations. Most of them have been taken down. We’re not talking Dickens’ Scrooge or Suess’s Grinch, here. We’re talking about board members whose collective brain capacity is that of a pet rock. I take it back. A pet rock is probably a little smarter.
Christmas. What a wonderful holiday. I love it as much as I love Hanukkah and the Seder and all the other religious holidays. In fact, I love any religious person’s special days. It’s just what we do in America.
But why, oh why, are Homeowners Associations coming down so hard on holiday lights? I get it that some light displays are over the top. I get it that gorgeous light displays bring more traffic into a neighborhood. But the greater spirit I see during the holidays satisfies an inner part of my soul. Homeowners Associations, as far as I know, are the only entity in America where expressing your religious beliefs is verboten.
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Christians are Considered ‘Icky’ to HOAs?
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A few days ago, I wrote of a Homeowners Association in Hayden, Idaho that threatened to sue a homeowner who put up excessive Christmas lights and decorations. HOA officials were upset because the display attracted lots of traffic to the neighborhood.
But isn’t that what we all do at Christmas? We drive around looking for the most beautiful light displays. It’s a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. I know plenty of Jews, atheists and agnostics who drive around admiring all the wonderful decorations. “Peace on Earth, good will to men,” is how the song goes. And that message resounds through all religious barriers.