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Too soon? Festive family told to take down Christmas decorations

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Too soon? A homeowners association says this snowman needs to be taken down until closer to the holiday season. (Photo: WOAI)

SAN ANTONIO (WOAI) -- How soon is too soon to start putting up Christmas decorations? A battle over a snowman in one Texas neighborhood is putting that question to the test.

A snowman, some reindeer and a Santa hanging from a helicopter. These are just some of the decorations on display in front of the Simonis home in the Lakeside at Canyon Springs subdivision.

The decorations have been up since Nov. 1, but the neighborhood's homeowners association, Diamond Association Management & Consulting (DAMC), says that's too early. On Nov. 4, DAMC sent the Simonis family a letter informing them of the violation.

Maintenance – Holiday Decorations Need To Be Removed,” the notice read. Under a section labeled "inspector notes," DAMC asked the family to "please remove the snowman until closer to the holiday season."

"I was like, 'Wow, that's a first,'" said Nick Simonis. "I was angry, because there’s a reason why we're doing it."

Claudia Simonis is 8 months pregnant.

"I feel kind of heavy, so the earlier we can put out the decorations, the better," Claudia said. "Because probably in two more weeks, I'm not going to be able to build all this."

As for what defines "closer to the holiday season," the letter didn't say. "They didn't," said Nick. "They didn't even clarify what day that is."

"I just found it crazy." added Claudia. "Especially that they didn’t give us a time. Like, when is the right time to put it?" Nick and Claudia say they have no plans to take down the decorations. "We're not going to do it," said Nick. "It's the Christmas spirit. We're not going to be forced by the HOA to take it down."

In fact, not only are they keeping them up, some of their neighbors are now joining them with the early start to decorating season as a sign of solidarity.

"I don't think this should be an issue," said neighbor Charles Minton, who's already put some penguins and a large Merry Christmas ornament in his front yard. "These are the holidays. This is what we do. We take care of our neighbors. That's what a neighborhood is about."

"So, you're going to see in a couple days, everybody will have decorations up," said Nick.

The notice from DAMC does say that homeowners must remove decorations within ten days after a holiday ends; however, there's no reference to how long they must wait to put up new decorations for a different holiday.

"We always abide by the rules and regulations," said Minton. "So, when we see it in black and white, there's no problem. But if it's not in black and white. Who's to say what's what?"

WOAI reached out to DAMC for comment but hasn't heard back.

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