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Family Creatively Admits Defeat to Neighbors' Christmas Decorations

Every year around the Thanksgiving holiday, families across the country begin decorating their homes (inside and out) with Christmas decorations. For some, it is a cherished family tradition. For others, it takes a more competitive tone. Classic films like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation have captured the competitive spirit that can settle in between neighbors about who has the "best" decorations or light display. The result often is a string of outrageously bright homes that seem to demonstrate the spirit of American capitalism more than the spirit of Christmas.

This year, however, one family decided to cut off the competition—before it even started. Jami Kelly, of suburban Detroit, said her family began to put up outdoor decorations, but quickly became discouraged at the extravagance of her neighbor's display. "Nothing measures up," she remembered thinking. So, instead of trying to outdo her neighbor and adding more stress to the holiday season, Kelly grabbed a piece of plywood and a few sets of white lights. She weaved them together to form a bright arrow pointing to her neighbor's home. Then, above the arrow, she spelled out in charming white lights: "Ditto."

Potential Preaching Angles: Sometimes it's easier to give up and let someone else get the credit—a lesson that's especially appropriate at Christmas.

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