Decorating for the holidays is a time-honored and wonderful tradition.
But not everyone approves of it.
What happens when the decoration you’ve waited for your whole life is finally yours, but a vocal neighbor hates it?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Adventurous-Log-3274 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not taking down our 12-foot-skeleton because a neighbor’s son is afraid of it?”
Welcome to the neighborhood.
“Okay, so we moved to this neighborhood back in April and have been making so many plans for Halloween decorations.”
“I have always wanted the giant skeleton.”
“If you aren’t familiar, just search ’12 foot skeleton’ and you’ll find it.”
“I finally ordered one!”
“We put it up on September 1st because I was just too excited to wait.”
“People on my street all laughed about it and the teens down the street came to take pictures with it.”
“My next door neighbor is going to make stuff to go with it.”
“Unfortunately there’s younger kids who are a few streets away who see it on their walk home from school and one of them cries and gets scared of it.”
“So the mom approached me and asked if I could possibly take it down because it’s a little too scary.”
“IMO it’s not scary, it’s silly. I don’t like scary Halloween, I like silly Halloween.”
“I don’t even listen to True Crime podcasts like every other basic girl these days (I wrote this drinking a PSL. It’s me, I’m the basic girl.”
“Stop getting your panties in a knot. I’m literally watching Gilmore Girls right now. The call is coming from inside the house.”
“It is a joke about ME being basic.”
“True crime is literally one of THE most popular, trendy things for young women right now. It’s Taylor Swift, True Crime, PSL. I like 2/3 of these things.”
“Please blink if you understand the joke.”
“Do you still not get it? Hi, I’m too much of a baby to like true crime. I cannot go Fully Basic.”
“I am only part-time basic. Jesus Christ tell me you get it NOW?).”
“I asked the mom if putting on a silly hat, a boa, silly shirt or something would work. She said no and asked again for me to take it down.”
“I told her that I have wanted one of these forever and that I am not going to take it down.”
“I suggested she find a different route to/from the bus stop. She made a face and said ‘Really?'”
“I said I spent $300 on this bad boy and I want to enjoy it. Not to sound too dramatic, but in this world on fire, something as stupid as a 12 foot skeleton brings me joy.”
“Then she looked behind me and smirked and said that $300 shouldn’t break the bank, but that judging by the house we bought, she should have realized money was an issue for us.”
“Then she said ‘But it costs nothing to be kind to a little boy who is scared.'”
“I’m not particularly clever or quick, so I said ‘Okay, well, thanks for the suggestion’ and went back to weeding. She stood there and then took a picture, presumably to ‘blast me on social media’ or her mommy groups or whatever.”
“Whenever she walks by she scowls (doorbell cam) and takes another picture.”
“My husband agrees we don’t need to take it down.”
“There is no HOA or anything.”
“Her going down a different street would not even add more to her walk to get the kids. I think she is being unreasonable and playing up that whole corny ‘mama bear’ thing.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
The joy of spite.
“Honestly? I’d buy a second giant one next week. After a couple of days, have the giant skeletons hold hands.”
“Then get a third one the week after, of a little skeleton.”
“Then maybe a dog skeleton the week after that.”
“And a cat skeleton being chased by the dog skeleton the week after that.”
“ETA: NTA” ~ Straight-Singer-2912
“Get a kid sized skeleton to put hanging out of the big skeletons mouth” ~ Mikeismycodename
“Reminds me of a story a few years back about a woman who got an anonymous nastygram about her Christmas dragon display in her yard from an offended Christian neighbor.”
“She added more dragons.” ~ Veteris71
We have all year long a: pink flamingo skeleton, a rat skeleton, and a cat skeleton… and that’s BEFORE the Halloween decorations come out. ~ Adahla987
The cost of kindness.
“It’s true that it costs nothing to be kind to a little boy who is scared. But it also costs nothing to teach that child about how to deal with their fears and that the world doesn’t cater to you” ~ VeronicaSawyer8
“It also costs nothing to be tactful. There was no need for her to disparage the OP and his home.”
‘”Then she looked behind me and smirked and said that $300 shouldn’t break the bank, but that judging by the house we bought, she should have realized money was an issue for us.'”
“NTA.” ~ Acrobatic-Tennis-157
“Best thing to do would be to offer to ‘introduce’ the kid to the skeleton, show him how it’s plastic, how it fits together.”
“Isn’t it cool what people can make? What kind of stuff do you like to make?”
“Maybe you and your mom can make some super cool Halloween decorations!”
“That’s being kind and teaching life lessons about how to deal with fear (information!). Taking it down will only increase fear.” ~ RainahReddit
“When I was growing up, my stepdad would dress up and either hide around a corner or sit really still in plain sight then jump-scare people.”
“He loved scaring the older kids and unsuspecting parents.”
“Unfortunately, sometimes a little one would be too close, but he always takes time to take off his mask and show them who he was while giving them extra candy to help cheer them up.”
“This mom would have hated our house. Halloween used to be about spooky and scary decor and antics.”
“What this mom should do is slowly get her kid used to seeing the skeleton.”
“To show him that it’s nothing to be scared of.”
“Buy a smaller scale one and let him get used to that. Explain the big one is just a giant sized of the one he now has, etc. Obviously, OP is NTA.” ~ Lilbit_Evil
The Halloween Spirit.
“Our neighborhood had a guy who would dress up in a gorilla suit every Halloween and do that. It was awesome, we all loved it” ~ ViolentWeiner
“Growing up, I had ‘the talking house.’ It’s what it sounded like.”
“A creepy voice from within the house would start talking to you, but there was no one there.”
“Looking back, it was obviously just some guy hiding in his house using some kind of voice modulator, but I loved it as a kid.”
“They also gave out full-size candy bars, so that was a house you wanted to hit.” ~ supersinger9000
“She would hate our Halloween decorations for that reason (we trick out the porch and hang up a bunch of spiders and stuff), but the ones who make it to the house get to check out the big LEGO display.”
“I love it when the teens bring their buddies to see it.” ~ Striking_Ad_6742
“YTA for putting out Halloween decorations in September” ~ Realistic7362
“YTA for not thinking it’s Halloween season.” ~ RealHumanFromEarth
“NTA people encounter things they are uncomfortable with all the time, and we have to adapt.”
“Honestly the mom sets the tone with this. I would’ve have started singing spooky scary skeletons and did a silly dance while passing to distract my kids if they were scared.”
“And every time we passed, it would be a high five and a reminder that the skeleton is just a decoration and didn’t hurt them.” ~ BrazenDuck
Many of my articles begin or end with a request to ‘be kind.’
I believe strongly that a little more kindness in the world could make a big difference, not just in our personal lives but in the world at large.
Every little drop in the bucket and all that.
Of course, kindness has its limits.
You can’t prevent every injury, every nuisance, every discomfort.
So, we teach our kids to be tolerant and understanding of the rough edges.
Careful with sharp knives, cautious with rude people.
Be brave in the face of the big scary skeleton.
Teaching is the ultimate kindness in this regard because it doesn’t just soothe a sting or calm a feeling. It helps you prepare for those difficult things in the future, too.