Lights

Peace on Earth, Good Will to All…

We don’t live in a community where Christmas displays must have uniformity, such as a holiday card with Season’s Greetings from the Conformers. Our neighborhood is a free for all.

The Clampetts put on an awesome, ah awesomely BIG display. I’m not quite sure what the Clampetts think the Christmas holiday celebrates. Their decorations don’t totally represent the secular buy presents holiday or the birth of a Babe who came to save mankind either.

Their display prominently features blow up things which lie in a puddle of mush during the day. If I had to sum it up, I’d pick wildlife and snowmen, many snowmen, dancing snowmen, twirling snowmen….  Mr. Clampett was originally from Canada so maybe the snowmen have some kind of Canadian symbolism.

Polar bears and penguins romp beside a mixed herd of lighted reindeer. White wire framed deer mill about with a couple of brown deer which are actually archery targets decorated with tinsel. The herd, hitched to a child sized formerly motorized monster truck, is led by Frosty. If we lived in the Southern Hemisphere, confused lightening bugs would try to mate with Frosty’s blinking nose which is now a soft, sexy pink. Pro-creation Frosty also has a moose rack tied to his head.

The entire yard is ringed by lighted mason jars. This feeds the rumor that the Clampetts produce moonshine. I swear it’s just hard cider, but it’ll light you up.

The Cleavers are all about God. White wooden cutouts represent Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a manger (front yard), shepherds in a field (side yard), three wise men on camels (backyard), and star (roof). Bethlehem and surrounding counties are lit by red spotlights that render temporary blindness if one sits too long at the stop sign on the corner.

Green lights outline the Banks’ house. A boxwood wreath decorates every window, fence post, and the cars… wreaths out the kazoo.

While we’re not sure what holiday the Munsters are celebrating with their multicolor strobe lights and skull and cross bone theme (maybe Nightmare Before Christmas), I can live with fist bumps and “Yo dudette like merry, merry” as we pass each other going and coming from work.

Mr. and Mrs. Astor begin twining their maple with clear lights at the end of September. The same month the electric company raises rates. The maple project takes them through October, angels and house lights follow in November. In December, their electric box twirls like a ballerina on speed. Last year, the maple with its 170,000 lights landed on the front page of our local newspaper.

Then there are the Herods. We pass their house by way of Egypt and nobody dies.

We don’t have the energy budget of an Astor or the storage capacity of the Clampetts. The theme and size of our Christmas display depends on how many strands of lights are working and who has the time to put them out. If there’s snow, count me out.

Most years the hubby shoves a few strands of blue lights around a shrub we call Grimace. Grimace is twelve feet tall and looks like he ate too many Big Macs. If there are enough lights, the porch rail gets decorated. At times, we mix strands of red or white with the blue. We seem quite patriotic or that we’ve confused Christmas with the Fourth of July.

My family’s okay with our mediocrity. No one on our street will judge you by the size of your Christmas display or the color of your lights. My only problem with our collective displays lies with the electric company moguls singing falalalala all the way to the bank.

Next year, if I decide on lights out, to thumb my nose at rate hikes, my neighbors will be cool if my only Christmas decorations are solar lights in the shape of a star.

To an outsider, our street may look like we’ve all been sipping the Clampett’s cider and our individual Christmas displays may not reflect the traditional reason for the season, but we practice the true spirit of Christmas all year long. Yo, like peace to all.

 

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