8 smart and sassy crime fiction writers dish on writing and life.
It's The View. With bodies.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
True Christmas Crime Tuesday
JAN BROGAN:Although the Christmas season inspires all sorts of generosity and philanthropy, it also inspires crime. A good friend of mine was once mugged, while pregnant, unloading presents from her car in her urban neighborhood. Not long afterward, she and her husband moved.
Short of cash and the true holiday spirit, some people resort to stealing presents from homes and cars. But who wants to think about that at Christmastime? Not me, I'm more interested in this novel new Christmas crime in Florida. In fact, I'm wondering if it's really a crime at all....
True story: Two South Florida women were arrested and charged with grand theft after a TV surveillance camera caught them allegedly stealing $500 worth of outdoor Christmas decorations from the neighbor's home.
But the thing is -- the two women didn't keep the decorations, they merely moved them to another yard less than a block away.
I'll let you decide, but here's a list of some of the decorations: Mickey Mouse on a horse, hugging penguins, Snoopy on a doghouse and Santa on a sled.
Coming from New England, home of the "anything other than just white lights is just plain tacky" mindset, which I believe is akin to the "Christmas decorations as indicator of social status" mindset, I say there's a good chance the two women in Florida are actually New England transplants and they just didn't like Snoopy on a doghouse or Mickey on a horse near their homes. Maybe they had a couple glasses of wine and thought they just couldn't stand another moment of Santa's blinking sled. And is Snoopy festive enough for Christmas?
There is also the possibility that this was some kind of revenge and they were merely getting back at the other neighbor - a block away - by dumping the decorations in her yard.
Come on....in this era of a downward spiraling house market, maybe they were worried the decorations were depressing their home values. Maybe they thought they WERE doing something philanthropic for their neighborhood.
In my neighborhood, we have a house around the corner with....let's just call it.. very busy outdoor decorations, and not just for Christmas. These people decorate to the nines for Valentines Day and Easter as well. A lot of little gnomes, and light up Santas, hearts and bunnies, depending on the season. Up here in New England, that generates actual hate mail, according to the neighbor. But she also says she gets letters of support. (Who are these people taking the time to write her about it, either way?)
But what I want to know is how do you feel about really big, inflatable, colorful, or otherwise tacky decorations? Is there a neighbor who bugs you or does the sheer festivity light up your life?