Think that giant Santa in your neighbor's yard is obnoxious just to look at? What if it loudly sang Christmas carols from sun up to sun down? Every day. That's exactly what the neighbors of Jill Patella are having to endure in their Union Beach, New Jersey neighborhood. Her six-foot Santa waves, talks, and sings to passersby from her front porch, beckoning them to get into the Christmas spirit. He asks, How about a song to get you into the holiday spirit? and without waiting for your answer, starts chanting, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." And then "Winter Wonderland." And then "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
For the love of chestnuts, shut up already.
In fact, he sings so loudly that the neighbors can hear it inside of their homes, and it's driving them crazy. Not that I can blame them -- as much as I love Christmas carols, hearing them from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. would make me want to blow my brains out. They've complained, but a quick decibel test proved that singing Santa was in the legal decibel range.
But there's more to the story than just the obnoxious big guy in the red suit. Jill lost her husband in 2007, and the singing Santa was the very last Christmas decoration that he bought for her before he suddenly died from a stroke at the age of 44. This is the first year that she's managed to set it out ...
Well now I just feel like a Grinch.
As sad as a story as it is, I still feel like she could compromise. I'm sure her neighbors are sympathetic, but her grief is affecting an entire street. At all times. This isn't like a loud BBQ that the neighbor is hosting. Yes, it's at a legal decibel, but if it's loud enough for several neighbors to complain, then, in my opinion, it's too loud. It shows a lack of respect for others. Regardless of the neighbors' pleas, she refuses to turn it down, even for a minute less.
Neighbors = 0, Santa = 1.
What do you think about Jill's situation? Think the neighbors have a good point, or do you feel that, since it's her property, she has the right to do whatever she wants?
Image via di_the_huntress/Flickr