No Decorations; Blame It on the Economy

The sluggish economy is being blamed for all sorts of things these days. Some even say there are fewer Christmas decorations going up because of it. Bill Stamps hit the streets to find out of that's true.
Every Christmas season Jamie Hollomon's family calls her the Grinch.

"They call me the Grinch, because I'm such a little grouch about...we haven't gotten the tree up; we haven't gotten the decorations; we need to do the yard; did you get the lights out of the attic; we need to do this, did you do that? I know that you went to work, but can you do it when you get home?"

Jamie gets excited about putting up Christmas decorations. She lived at her house in the Heights for 21 years and usually the entire street gets in to the decorating act.

"Every year. This is the first year I've seen it where it didn't happen."

"Because of economy reasons, we only run our lights. We have them on a timer from six to eleven each evening, whereas we used to run them. They'd come on at night and we'd just leave them on and turn them off when we got up in the morning.  And we didn't do that this year."

Jamie says some houses didn't put up lights this year, and she thinks she knows why.

"The costs of putting up lights. Particularly electricity."

She even asked one or her neighbors what the deal was this year.

"She just didn't feel like she could afford to do it this year."

If you drive a few streets over from Jamie, you'll find Phil Waldrup either working in his garage or working on what some would call a unique Christmas display.

"You wanna see it lit. At night it looks wonderful."

Phil likes to decorate his house as much as Jamie does…only he does it with recycled products.
"I found that in heavy trash, these tubes in heavy trash. I found that reindeer in heavy trash and it was missing the back legs, so I made him some back legs."

Since Phil makes most of his decorations he thinks anyone who says they can't decorate because of the economy is being a real Scrooge.

"The lights could cost more, but you know what I found a bunch of strands in a box around August.  And even if you didn't use lights, you can used candles. There's a bunch of ways to do it."
Phil says you don't necessarily have to look in the trash to put together a inexpensive Christmas display.  He says all you have to do is use your imagination.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.