Holiday Decorations: Are You Scrooge If You Ask Renters To “Tone It Down”?

Outdoor Christmas Decortations

Tis the season, when people seem to be a bit friendlier and smile more.  Regardless of their faith, most people have something they celebrate as the year ends, and we often take time to reflect on the past year and set high hopes for the new year to come.   The traditions and festivities bring joy to many…but for some people, it is just too much, and they find it offensive.  In the melting pot of America, it is hard for legislators and schools to keep “things fair”… and property managers and landlords can struggle with this , too!  What is one to do to keep all of the tenants in a property happy through the holidays?

Krampus Decorations In Murrieta, CA, a resident of German-Swiss decent is being publicly criticized for decorating her home with “Krumpus”, a mythical creature from pre-Christian Germanic traditions, who punishes the “bad kids” that St. Nicholas does not visit.  CBS Los Angeles reports that Stori Nagel entered her home it into the “Annual Home Holiday Decorating Contest” and chose “Krampus” to educate her neighbors on traditions from her country, and to remind people that bad kids should not be rewarded.  Nagil said “There’s no punishment anymore…kids get Christmas presents and they ain’t even good, there’s no consequence.”

In Massachusttes, a local branch for the Department of Motor Vehicles made news after the management decided to remove all decorations after complaints that they were singling out “Christmas” and excluding other religions.  In another suburb, a homeowner who has decorated their home with Christian decor and blue and white lights for the past 40 years, received an angry letter telling her that her decorations are tacky and distasteful, and told her to practice her religion in the privacy of her home.

What does this mean for property managers?  Do common areas of apartment complexes and condos need to incorporate multiple religious holidays, or should property managers skip the holiday decorations, totally?  Is it O.K to ask a tenant to tone down their display….and if yes, how much is too much?  Please share your comments!

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