Holiday Decorations: What’s Allowed?
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- It’s that time of the year again when people start to decorate their homes for the holiday season. But as some folks string up those lights and put up trees, some cities across the country are placing restrictions on holiday displays.
In order to cater to everyone, officials in eastern states like Rhode Island and New Jersey are regulating certain holiday decorations for businesses. Some are enforcing a rule that you must also place a menorah on display for Hanukkah if you have a holiday tree up for Christmas.
However, that’s not the case for businesses in downtown Grand Junction as they turn the popular region into a winter wonderland.
“Those holiday windows and holiday lights are really a part of what brings people to downtown Grand Junction during the holiday season,” said Kathy Dirks of the Downtown Grand Junction Partnership. “Our organization does not impose any rules or regulations about what people put in their windows or decorate with during the holidays.”
“We tend to put up Christmas trees; we also do a lot of garland and lights,” said Kirk Granum, showroom manager at Interiors, Etc. “But it fairly tends to be nondenominational decorations.”
Interiors, Etc. has been decorating its windows for the holiday for nearly 30 years, and even with no rules, Granum still keeps his window displays rather neutral.
“I think you need to respect everyone during this holiday time,” said Granum.
Though most would agree that business holiday window displays are OK, when it comes to public displays, that’s a different story.
“There’s certainly people that are going to find certain holiday decorations offensive,” said Steve Landman of Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers.
Landman says if a decoration was displayed on public property and advocated by the government, problems could arise in town.
“I think we are talking about freedom of speech to some degree and freedom of religion,” said Landman.
However, local private businesses do not have to worry.
“Every year, we encourage all of our business owners to decorate their windows and light their buildings,” said Dirks.