GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Despite Christmas being several weeks in the rearview mirror, the Boyle house in Grand Rapids is still filled with holiday knickknacks, stockings, and two fully decorated Christmas trees. Traci, the matriarch of the home, has appointed herself as decorator-in-chief, so the rest of the family must wait until she says the word before any decorations can be taken down. When her husband asked when she was planning to pack away the holiday items, Mrs. Boyle replied that she’d take them down when she’s “good and ready.”
“I’m not even sure why I ask anymore,” said Mr. Boyle, a 38-year-old radio engineer. “This drags out longer and longer every year. I used to hope for Valentine’s Day. Now I’m lucky if they’re down by Easter.”
Mrs. Boyle’s desire to keep the decorations up seems to stem from a combination of laziness, stubbornness, and an unhealthy infatuation with cinnamon sticks.
Each year, Mr. Boyle and the four Boyle children look longingly at other homes in the neighborhood whose families remove their lights and decor in a reasonable amount of time.
“I see Christmas trees on the curb before the new year,” said Mr. Boyle. “I dream about what that must be like. I bet they’re not listening to Christmas music either.”
Several sources inside the home suspect Mrs. Boyle’s plan is to keep the decorations up until July at which point she can claim the over-halfway rule and leave the decorations up all year.