Inflatable Christmas Decorations: Terrible or Tacky?

Karen Hotz, Social Media Organizer

This scene is probably familiar…right?

There’s a certain aura of “elevated festivities” while cruising through the streets in December. Christmas lights outline houses, wreaths hang on doors, mistletoe drapes around railings, and plastic reindeer, snowmen, sleighs, and presents are not hard to spot. Some houses take decorations even a step further, adding a giant inflatable, or multiple, that sprawls across the front lawn. While some think that these blow ups are cute and silly, others argue that they are tacky, and an eye-sore to look at. 

Unlike lights, inflatable decorations do not have a long history. Popping up in the yards of suburban families in the early 2000s, they were rather simple. However, today there are hundreds of different types and varieties. Powered by motorized fans and decked with lights, they grab the attention of every person who drives by.

Typically these inflatables are most adored by families with young children. Besides, what kid would not want a giant Santa and reindeer right outside their own home? The bright colors, lights, and rows upon rows of characters make it evident that companies cater to parents with children. Parents also tend to like these blow ups because they get their children excited, and having happy kids is essential, especially with the chaos the holiday season brings for adults. 

However, while most kids may adore inflatables, lots of adults do not. Many in fact deplore such decorations, arguing that they serve as clear indicators of collective laziness and the flaws of overreaching consumerism. Adults, especially those without young children, believe they look cheap, ugly, and even creepy when lying on the ground…deflated. Besides having an odd physical appearance, they are annoying to be around. Humming noises are made as air fills up the body of the inflatables, sometimes loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. 

The discordance persists as valid arguments are presented by both ends of the spectrum. Do inflatable decorations enhance the holiday season, bringing extra joy, humor, and cuteness, or do they take away holiday magic, making houses look tacky, messy, and neighborhoods annoying? Are they a trend that will continue to grow in the future or should they have been left behind in the “burbs” in the early 2000s?