Suckmas – The Art of Horrible Christmas Decorations

A few years back I decided that a nice way to pre-game Christmas with my girlfriend would be to head out and take in some of the great, amazingly decorated houses around Denver. I was looking for some real WOW factor, Griswoldian displays that are visible from low orbit. What I found was anything but that…

We headed to Cherry Creek Colorado, I figured the combo of rich people with fewer tethers to reality would make for some epic holiday light viewing. The problem was, we didn’t encounter amazing holiday displays. We started noticing that Cherry Creek had some of the sorriest ass Christmas lights we’d ever seen.

They reminded me of a time I lived off of Colfax near Aurora and one of the corner lots had a light display that was a 2X4 board stuck in the ground and listing at about a 45 degree angle, it wasn’t even straight. The board had a single green light bulb on the tip of it and a string of lights that powered the bulb draped off the top of it towards the house.

It was a pretty lame attempt and I always wondered what kind of a person was responsible for that. I mean, if you’re going to phone it in this badly, why even bother at all? Why exert effort but make the effort so paltry it would have actually been better to do nothing at all?

There’s a line in Watchmen where Doctor Manhattan says “I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast they can hardly be said to have occurred at all” and whenever I see something as sad as some of these lights, I feel like saying “I’ve seen Christmas displays so lame, so half assed, they can hardly be said to be Christmas at all”

The night quickly devolved into the only fun we could have looking at these busted ass displays, namely taking pictures of them and mocking them mercilessly. I have saved some of the real winners(?) and posted them here for your viewing pleasure. And yes, I did nominate one as clearly the worst out of all of them.

Before we get on to specifics, I want to talk about a phenomenon I noticed right off the rip…TREE TRUNKERS.

Tree Trunkers are what you get when you mix the best of intentions with equal parts reality, failure to forecast material needs and an exquisite display of lack of determination.

Trunkers start out thinking they’re going to make THIS happen:


But get really discouraged when they realize an economy string of 150 lights from Big Lots is going to be just a bit shy of the 1,500,000 bulbs it actually takes to festoon a tree in light bukakke. The quickly end up with this –


The Tree Trunkers shame goes far deeper than just their initial failure though. A self respecting quitter would just rip the lights from the tree in the dead of night and throw them in an ally dumpster like a used sex crime victim, but not Trunkers. The level of their lethargy is such that they don’t even bother to complete quitting. They drop out of even quitting and just leave the half assed monument to their own lack of follow through to stand for the entire season, a sad testament to how much of a sorry ass failure they really are. Seeing a lit Tree Trunker is like walking into someones house and finding a bullet proof trophy case full of bottle caps that say “you are not a winner”.

Even worse, these people have run out of initiative before they’ve even gotten to the part where the realize they need a ladder! i can almost see them trying to get that last strand up higher by standing on their tippy toes as they attempt to cover a tree that’s 2.5 times taller than their house!

Now on to some other dishonorable mentions…


“Ooooooooooh! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”


Not only was this tree trunker unwilling to get a ladder, he was unwilling to bend over to cover the bottom of the trunk.


Shit, I forgot my welding mask, how ever shall I safely view this magnificent 10 candlepower display of Holiday cheer?


Merry Christ-meh… not only that…


They’re Tree Trunkers too!


Not to brag, but guess who has 2 thumbs and owns a 20 foot ladder? Aim for the moon there Trunker, even if you miss you’ll end up with a lighting display that reaches the second story.


From the “I’m not going outside in this shit” files. I’m either looking at an attempt at a semi-festive holiday bow or I’m looking at a domicile that has at least one Hoveround.


When your decided lack of give a shit meets your lack of foresight in buying an extension cord they will birth this trinity of shit. I nicknamed these three trees the Father, the Son and the Holy Shit this looks crappy. A string of lights is not an extension cord.


Tree Trunkers plus lack of extension cords equals…a Christmas hammock?


I call this one the “Fuck It Snake” it’s like a Tree Trunker combined with the Gadsden flag.


Look at the ridiculous amount of foot prints around this tree. That means that this massively underwhelming display was either the concerted effort of 1 person, who took no less than 60 passes around the tree to come up with THIS, or it’s the collective effort of a whole bunch of people who really, let’s be honest, owe us all an apology.

Whether it’s the best effort of the worst decorator or the aggregate failure of a small group, this shit show is an insult any way you slice it!

And now…the winner!


I thought it was going to be a stiff competition to figure out who had the crappiest display out of all of them but I was wrong because I hadn’t driven past this mixture of pure, unadulterated hate mixed with a total disregard for the holiday spirit. Let’s have a walk through this utter let down.

First off, what you’re looking at here is something I almost drove by before noticing the faintest red glow from the street. I honestly thought it could have been a cigarette butt at first glance but I decided to get out and look, and boy am I glad I did!


What you’re seeing is a strand of maybe 25 lights with approximately 15 of them burned out. They aren’t outlining the planter, they were clearly HUCKED into the planter. I imagine a scenario where a couple in their late 60’s were embroiled in a drawn out argument about getting the decorations done before the man stormed out of the house and fired these into the planter, then stormed back inside and screamed “THERE EDNA! YOUR FUCKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ARE DONE, YOU GOD DAMNED HARPY BITCH!” before pouring himself a lot of scotch and maybe lovingly caressing the only thing that brings him joy these days, a loaded Smith and Wesson.

Take note of the extension cord draped over the address sign. While it would have been easier to obscure it from sight by just routing it behind the bench on the porch, whoever hung this made a clear effort to put it in plain view. Also notice the pine branches that are thrown on top of the non-LED lights. These are the old style lights that heat up enough to ignite dry pine needles…I have a sinking feeling that the Light Hucker inside knows this and is perfectly ok with the potential fallout.

That nearly imperceptible display of holiday cheer, the total technical ineptitude/disregard for presentation and the inevitable murder suicide that followed the whole debacle undoubtedly makes Fightmare Before Christmas…er, I mean 3250 Whatever Street this years clear winner.

Feel free to send horrible Christmas decorations from your neighborhood to me at for review here!


About zacharybyronhelm

Urban explorer, hearse driver, media whore, writer, film maker and general ne'er do well.
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