Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Twinkling Lights

Peering through windows, they scowl through the front windows.

"Look at that tree!"

"That's just tacky!"

"That house looks like a strip joint. Could they have any less class?"

"I can't believe they moved here!"

"That is so darling! We must get one!"

The competition has begun. Technically, the competition began long before Thanksgiving when my neighbor staked his territory with moving reindeer and a 8 foot tree shining from his front window. Then, a person a few houses down hung some icicles. Within the past week, my entire neighborhood has exploded with twinkle lights; inflatable snowmen, reindeer and unidentifiable Christmas cheer; holograms on garages; moving reindeer; and enormous lights that look like candy peppermints dangling dangerously from porches.

At first, I was delighted. I love Christmas, and I love twinkle lights. When you put those two things together, I am as happy as a pig in mud. Then, I began to watch my neighbors. The weekend after Thanksgiving, they all huddled in their yards. They hung lights and stared at the others, furrowing their brows as they thought to themselves. Then, they began to copy each other! Slowly, moving reindeer began to appear in every lawn. Then, someone brought out mini-lighted Christmas trees. Trees began to sprinkle every porch. The neighbors who started the competition hung lighted figures in the windows. People down the street hung an enormous star from their roof top. Others bought ten-foot inflatable Santas.

The neighbors would peer out of windows to watch each other, then decide to be even more outrageous. They were in a race for an invisible contest with no prize.

"Look at that! They got a big inflatable snowman. Well, I'll tell you what, I can beat that!"

Then, the sickness spread to the entire subdivision. House after house drenched itself in bright white lights, every blade of grass shining with an electric glow. The entire neighborhood began to look like Christmas Vacation.

As I watched the lights twine around porches and doors, my heart began to creep lower toward the floor. This isn't what Christmas is about! Where is the cheer, where is the happiness? The only thing these people care about is being the best.

Perhaps to them, this is what Christmas is all about. I would hate to see what their electric and credit card bills are. Honestly, it reminds you of Greek warriers fighting over a trophy.

"This is not acceptable. We will take this fight to the highest of all battlegrounds: the yard."

I think I may protest this competition by simply putting a wreath on the door. I don't think they could handle it. The agonized stares and confused glances would make it all worthwhile.

"Look at that!"

"There's only a wreath? No lights?"

"I'm so confused!"

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It could be that everyone really gets a kick out of seeing the neighborhood looking festive and bright. I don't put up lights to compete, but to share the joy and I love to see the neighboors join in the spirit. Lighten up and enjoy your neighbors high spirits.

Mama K said...

How about some lights and greenery around the front door accented by your wreath? Simple but tasteful....and it doesn't scream "I went for all the latest fads offered at Walmart this year". Everyone here has begun to but those GIANT 10 ft tall inflated "snow globes" with Christmas scenes in them. Wild and expensive! I love it all anyway because I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS!!!!

Anonymous said...

What do you have against strip joints?

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