Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And the Clark W. Griswold Award goes too..............

I'm going to admit something rather embarassing here. Even though I decorate the outside of my home for Christmas with fresh greenery and white lights and vintage santas, I yearn to be the type of person that fills their yard with every outdoor christmas decoration on the market. I get a thrill riding past peoples homes whose lawns are riots of holiday cheer. Lights are strewn on everything....white lights, colored lights, little lights, big lights, icicles, inflatable Santas and reindeer, lit-up candy canes, elves, manger scenes.....just a veritable feast for the eyes....causing you to slow down your car and stare in wonder. Usually these people are flanked on either side by people with fresh greenery and fruit for decoration. And you have to wonder if these neighbors talk to one another. Probably not. They are probably friendless in their neighborhood. Yet still they march on, making the holidays happy for passersby.

Most people hate gaudy outdoor christmas decoration. Many a time I have driven past such homes with other people in the car and they scoff and speak in condescending tones about what kind of hillbilly would decorate their home like that. I nod in agreement, even as I crane my neck to get a last look at the motorized elves and life size santa's workshop made of plywood, lit up by a 400-watt flood light, embarassed to admit that I love it. My favorite house of all time was near where I grew up. A small, unassuming house in an older subdivision. One you wouldn't notice really, if you drove by. But at Christmas time, this house stood out. The people that lived there must have spent all year making plywood, painted forms of every Christmas character imaginable in their basement or garage. The front yard became an army of 2-foot tall bearers of glad tidings, all lined up, shoulder to shoulder, row after row. There was Joseph and Mary and the Baby Jesus and the three wise men standing next to Chip and Dale and Goofy and Pluto and the Peanuts characters, complete with Snoopy dancing on his doghouse. Dagwood and Blondie and Raggedy Ann and Andy and angels and tin soldiers and elves and reindeer and Mr. and Mrs. Santa and Frosty and Winnie the Pooh and all his friends and Garfield and Mickey and Minnie (old and new) and Cinderella and Prince Charming and at least three sleighs and reindeer perched on various spots on the roof. God, it was awesome. Even as a teenager, where everything deserved a scowl and the term "lame", I loved that house. It isn't there anymore. i guess the people moved or they died cause I suspect they were old. But everytime I pass a house like it, stuffed to the gills with ornamentation, I remember it and thank God for people like that. How boring it would be at Christmas time without them.


Anonymous Judith said...

Okay, I admit it, I do crane my neck to take a look at all the lights & decorations. When we were kids, there were neighborhoods my parents would annually drive us through in order to see all the Christmas lights & decorations. Every year I have to watch the Chevy Chase Vacation movie--because of the decorations & the squirrel that gets into the house...my goal this year--to take pictures of these lights at night. I like your post your post, Meredith, brightens my day!

5:36 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

We watched that movie after Thanksgiving. The kids had never seen it. They kept wondering why, when my husband and I were putting up the tree, we would keep yelling "squirrel!!". They liked it a lot. And I will probably watch it at least two more times before the end of the holidays. It's a classic. My parents would also drive us around and look at lights. Most people don't decorate like that anymore.

9:31 AM  

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