Holiday Cheer Visits the Dead

But cemetery officials aren't crazy about new trend
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2007 2:12 PM CST
A growing tradition of decorating loved ones' gravestones for the holidays is taking hold, but many cemeteries find they have to regulate the more creative displays. %u201CPeople understand this with...   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Across the country, cemeteries are starting to look a lot like front lawns, the New York Times reports. Christmas trees, lights, garlands, and even free-standing Santas surround the dead. “The shopping, the dinners, the parties—you escape all that,” said one decorator. “It’s comforting.” But cemetery honchos are trying to crack down on the memorials, posting restrictions on gravesite adornments.

In San Francisco, the three Catholic cemeteries have banned everything save flowers and foot-tall evergreens. “Decorations can be an impediment to backhoes, and there are liability issues in tripping over candy canes,” said one diocese official. But in some places creative displays have proved irresistible. “If people decorate, they decorate,” said one cemetery historian. “There seems to be no stop to it.”