As It Happens

A Texas family was ordered take down early Christmas decorations, so they put up more

Claudia Simonis is pregnant and her baby is due Dec. 25, so she wanted to get a jump start on decorating.

The Texas couple put up their giant inflatable snowman because they're expecting a baby on Dec. 25

The scene outside the Simonis family's front yard before their homeowners association told them to remove their Christmas decorations. (Submitted by Claudia Simonis)
Listen6:03

Transcript

Claudia Simonis doesn't think Nov. 1 is too early to start celebrating Christmas. 

So the day after Halloween, her family decked their front yard in San Antonio, Texas, with a three-metre inflatable snowman, some reindeer and a Santa hanging from a helicopter.

"We thought it was perfect and beautiful," Simonis told As It Happens host Carol Off.

But their homeowners association didn't agree. 

Three days later, Diamond Association Management & Consulting sent the family a letter demanding that they remove the inflatable snowman until closer to the holiday.

'I just started laughing' 

Simonis said they didn't check the mail right away, and it was her husband, Nick, who sent her a photo of the letter. 

"I just started laughing," she said. 

The letter did not tell them when it was appropriate for them to start decorating, only that they had to remove the snowman — the only decoration the association took issue with — within 10 days. 

After the Simonis family received a letter from their homeowners association telling them to take down their Christmas decorations, they decided to add even more. (Submitted by Claudia Simonis)

The family did not comply.

Simonis said she didn't know that there was a rule for when she was allowed to put up decorations, but that her family had a very important reason for starting early: Simonis is pregnant and the baby is due Christmas Day. 

She and her husband were worried that the baby may come early, and they didn't want their two older children, who are seven and three, to miss out on any part of Christmas.

"I wanted to start earlier this year," she said. "You never know when the baby can arrive."

A community affair

Simonis posted the letter on her neighbourhood Facebook page, jokingly asking who was "the Grinch" who reported her family. 

The neighbourhood has now rallied behind the family, and against the homeowners association, by putting up decorations of their own. 

"My neighbour, after he heard about what happened, he got a 12-foot snowman," Simonis said.  

Claudia and Nick Simonis with their two children. (Submitted by Claudia Simonis)

Charles Minton, another neighbour, told NBC affiliate WOAI that he put up penguin decorations and a "Merry Christmas" sign in his front yard in solidarity with the Simonis family. 

"These are the holidays. This is what we do. We take care of our neighbours. That's what a neighbourhood is about," he said. 

The Simonis family has also added to their collection. Simonis put leaves on her snowman, as well as a sign that reads, "I am a Thanksgiving decoration, I swear."  

The Simonis family sent a message to their homeowners association by putting up additional Christmas decorations, instead of taking them down. (Submitted by Claudia Simonis)

She also searched all over town for a Grinch decoration with a sign for the homeowners association, "just to have fun a little bit." 

The homeowners association hasn't publicly commented on the story, and Simonis says she hasn't heard from them. But she says she'll be sure to have the decorations down 10 days after Christmas, in compliance with their rules. 


Written by Sarah Jackson. Produced by Alison Masemann. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.