By John Bernard, Crossroads Division Disaster State Relationship Director
(Editor’s note: The winner of the annual Northeast Ohio Region Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Holiday Door Decorating Contest has been announced by a panel of judges…make that judge. We found the insightful comments of John Bernard, the Crossroads Division Disaster State Relationship Director so entertaining that we are including them, along with photos of all 10 doors entered in this year’s competition.)
#1. SOOOO close to the automatic win. Most innovative use of Solo cups. Three dimensional effort. Trunk looks like real wood. BUT, the theme was diluted by the Star Wars wrapping paper, then Santa head and stocking. Shoulda stuck to the Star Wars theme with the movie coming out, maybe Santa with a light saber, ”May the force….of giving….be with you.”
#2. Gingerbread house. VERY nice. Stuck to the theme. Obvious work went into the lights, the window with “frosting” behind it. You know, you were this close to the auto-win. Ginger bread Disaster Responder holding a comfort kit woulda done it!
#3. It’s a lovely door and recognizes the season appropriately but is rather minimalist. Was this done by some Disaster Program Specialist that was 12 cases behind in review and had to plan a Disaster Action Team meeting that evening? I can see it now; ”FINE – I’ll decorate my door, Renee (Palagyi, Senior Disaster Program Manager).”
#4. North pole. Mail box for letters, elf, Santa, sleigh, presents. However, there is a lot of door left brown. At least tape up some printer paper and call it snow.
#5. What kindergarten class was forced into making those paper rings? Child labor laws and the Geneva Convention prohibit this kind of tyranny! Seriously, though, a very cute door but why not, “Oh, Tannenbaum?”
#6. Obviously, a lot of scissor time went into this one. Simple but the message is immense. Question, why isn’t the dove carrying a smoke alarm? You know we gotta install about a jillion of these things, right?
#7. What….in…the…name of Clara? Set aside the fact that there is a funky wreath with Mickey up in there, set aside someone thinks Zack (McAvoy, Disaster Program Manager, Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter) would end up on the “nice” list, and even set aside THE SIZE OF SANTA’S HEAD, there is … a…. fire… in this decoration. ……A…..FIRE! You know we are anti-fire in this organization, right? I mean, Anti-Fire is like our Unofficial Eighth Fundamental Principle. Does Santa set fires? No. Did Smokey the Bear sneak in and set it? No, not his gig. So, the home owner in this scene left an UNATTENDED FIRE burning in a residential structure…obviously with people at home. Might as well deep fry a turkey in the living room while you’re at it.
8. Absolutely gorgeous wreath, except for cutting off an elf’s leg and sticking it on there. You barbarian. “Oh, I got an idea, I’ll decorate my door with the body parts of those I slay in battle.” What, you get your decorating tips from Game of Thrones? Well, at least you aren’t trying to BURN DOWN A HOUSE LIKE SOMEBODY WE KNOW! [Coughing…number7].
#9. The Charlie Brownest Cubicle in All the Land Award goes to #9. That being said…..wrapping paper? That’s it? Owner of #9 has a vast canvas at his/her disposal and could have highlighted every holiday with room to spare! Heck, the owner could have drawn out the entire DR structure, the IAPs, STREPs and 5266s needed to respond to the fire that #7 is trying to start.
#10. Frosty the Snowman! Simple design that’s fun and happy! Obviously, not the resident of one home that shall remain nameless. You know the one; it’s the SEVENTH house on Burned to the Ground Lane.
And the winner is…wait a second, I’m not done with you #7. I looked closer; Mickey Mouse toys and a Mickey Disaster Preparedness Activity Book. Did….did a Preparedness person do this door? Are you telling me that someone that specializes in preventing Home Fire Disasters, someone leading the Home Fire Campaign, actually put a FIRE in their decoration? We have an nation effort, have installed more than 1 million alarms, raised hundreds of thousands of dollar to keep this…campaign…going….wait a second. #7, it’s all about job security for you, isn’t it? In that case, well played.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner is #2, the Gingerbread Door! (Decorated by Summit, Portage and Medina Counties Disaster Program Manager Debbie Chitester.) It stayed on theme, didn’t try to do too much, struck the right balance between too much and too little, and obviously, wasn’t ON FIRE (looking at you, #7).
It has been my pleasure judging your doors and my comments are all in fun. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May your holiday be filled with joy, rest, good food, and as few disaster calls as possible.