I took my little boy to Costco this weekend. On the way there, trying to convince him this was some trip equally fun to Disney World, I told him there would probably be Halloween decorations already out. Boy did I undersell it. Turns out Christmas decorations were already for sale, fully displayed and lit up. Tree after tree, glittering away.

Whatever happened to one thing at a time?

For many years Americans have groused about stores pushing the holidays earlier and earlier. That used to mean Christmas. These days you started seeing Halloween candy displays in aisles in August. You'll see Easter displays in February. It started with stores, but slowly people got conditioned and began pushing holidays too soon themselves.

On September 24th I was driving home from work when I saw this house in my neighborhood already decked out for Halloween. Now on one hand, it's really well done. Intricate, lots to look at, big lighted displays. On the other hand, Halloween was 5 and a half weeks away. By the time it rolls around, aren't the homeowners sick of looking at it? Decorating too early can lead to holiday burnout.

Jeff Deminski photo

That's why I'm proposing a new law. A bill that will fine your neighbors for jumping the gun too soon and going all Griswold on their houses. I call my legislation Government Regulation In Neighbors Celebrating Holidays, or GRINCH.

Under GRINCH each municipality will hire a full-time outdoor decoration ombudsman. Their role will be to travel their township looking for anyone who puts up outdoor decorations for a particular holiday more than 3 weeks before the actual holiday. A warning will first be issued, followed up in 72 hours with $500 fines. Hey, we always need more reasons for property taxes to go up, right? The hiring of decoration ombudsmen under GRINCH will certainly provide one! Yes, this means outdoor Christmas decorations cannot go up until December 4th, which this year is a Tuesday. What's that? You work during the week and want to put them up on Sunday December 2nd? GRINCH says no! Let Thanksgiving indigestion heal itself before the animatronic reindeer come out. And stores, let Labor Day pass before you start selling creepy dead hands that jump out of candy bowls.

Remember, it's called Government Regulation In Neighbors Celebrating Holidays, or GRINCH. Who's with me?

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