Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gaudy and Nice

It has been two years since we have celebrated Christmas for the family at our house. As a result, the last couple of years our Christmas decorations have been on the minimal side -- in fact, down to one single Christmas tree and no decorations outside. It was a nice, sedate holiday season for two years. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas were at one of our kid's houses which meant that we could simply get in our car and drive to the festivities, and then get into the car and leave. Little hassle, and actually a pretty relaxing experiences.

This year the calendar finger is pointing directly at us.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and are we concerned with Turkey and all the stuff that goes along with it for twenty people? Nah, of course not. It is panic time in preparing for Christmas.

You see, there is a rule that states that on Thanksgiving Night, the lights are switched on. Actually that sounds more technically advanced than we really are. It really means that on Thanksgiving Night we rush around like mad crashing into each other trying to plug extension cords into too many outlets, and then the lights come on...kind of haphazardly with different parts of the house and yard coming to lighted-life one after the other...about a fifteen minute process. The whole point of all this is so the grandkids can dance with glee and their mothers mouth "How pretty" and their fathers stand there and smirk.

It is a rule.

To obey this rule calls for preparation, the first of which is to find the lights and the four artificial Christmas trees (not counting the seven or eight mini-trees) then untangle lights and test them and somehow organize the whole thing. This one preparatory part of this process can take a weekend. Don't believe me?

This is the untangling and sorting and untangling of lights part of our Christmas preparation life. I know, I said untangling twice because we somehow ended up with really tangled lights this year.

If you look close you will see a sort of a sick white tree with red ornaments standing in the background. We found it in the attic and at one time it stood all lit up in the yard, but now none of the lights work on it -- and now we look at it and proclaim that it is sick looking tree and is destined for the trash.

By Thanksgiving we will have way too many lights outside -- including the back yard patio -- primarily in red and white which is symbolic for -- well, red and white lights. Inside we will have only 4 trees this year. There's one decorated in gold in the living room, one in silver in the den, a blue one in the dining room, and a red one in the foyer.  We normally have 5 but some creep broke into our storage facility and stole all our burgundy ornaments. I can't remember what else....let's see, a big Christmas village and merry-go-rounds and each interior doorway draped in lighted garlands, and special themed decorations on every flat surface and...I don't know, a bunch of stuff.

It is a lot of work and for what? Well, we once had my boss and his wife over during the holiday season, and his immediate reaction was, "Wow! We just walked into Disneyland!" My kids sort of make fun of the whole thing, but I have heard my daughter remark, "They do it up right. It is awesome." My son kind of smirks at the whole thing, but then I notice that  he takes his son to every decoration and brags how pretty it is.

Our theme is gaudy and nice. Yeah, we go over the top....but we also have some very nice and tasteful decorations too.

Is it worth it? Now is not the time to ask me that question.

I'll keep you apprised of the progress.


  1. I LOVE it!!! I especially like it because you don't have to do it EVERY year. Its nice to do it up big and then take a break for a couple of years. Its like "attack...retreat..." I can relate. Last year, I just had one tiny little tree on a table in my living room and decorated it with candy. ONLY candy. That way, I didn't even have to take down and put away any ornaments...just let everyone eat them away!!! I wonder if I can get away with that again this year....... The decorating part is kinda fun. Its the putting away after that's the real work.

  2. I used to think Christmas was a joyful happy sort of thing. Now I have come to believe it is punishment for all the errors made in the preceding year.

  3. Nooooooooooooo!!!! I'm not ready to think about Christmas!

    I'm glad at least one of us is prepared.

  4. I love it! We currently have three trees that go up every year, and I love them. I would leave them up all year if I could. The outside lights get me because I'm afraid of heights.

  5. LOL. Fantastic. I got a pass last year because I had just moved in - I haven't even started considering what I'm doing this year; I'm terrified to unpack those boxes of ornaments and tinsel and questionable lights. I have enthusiastic free labor from my teenager and undemanding visiting family, but I may just call the whole thing a wash, light some red and green candles, point to the naturally-occurring holly bush outside, and make sure my vocal holiday greetings are especially loud! :)

  6. I am amused that the people in this photograph are wearing shorts, and the man a sleeveless shirt, as they examine the Christmas decorations. A little different from standard Canadian Christmas season attire.

  7. I love it! I go Christmas Crazy too, I am not at your level of awesome yet but I strive to be :D

    Also, I really can't believe someone stole your Christmas decorations. Who does that?! How can they sit there and enjoy them and feel all Christmas-y when they stole them?

  8. I have learned that there's a point where Christmas decorating is a little overdone. But once you soar past that point, it's all good again.

  9. Oh man! That sounds like a ton of work! No thanks!
    Somehow it became my job to do all the outside decorating. Because of that, it is minimal now. I drew the line in the sand quite some time ago. She can tell me to do something, but she can have nothing to say about how I do it. The inside is her domain. If I was in chage of the inside, the tree would stay up all year!
    Hope you are doing well Jerry.

  10. I love it! Thank goodness you were not born in the era of "one burns out, none of them will light."

  11. Heck no. The Christmas lights go on December 1st, without exception. I find it difficult to even stomach the thought of Christmas decorations or lights or wreaths or presents or mistletoe when there are undigested Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator.

  12. Oy! You have much more holiday stamina than I do!

  13. You know, Jerry, I live close to the Old PTL, which Tammy Faye decorated for miles with elves, Santas, candy canes, and a gazillion lights every Christmas. There was always a string of cars riding through. All this time, I've been thinking that no one could ever come close to that kind of spectacle.

    I stand corrected.

  14. My favourite remains the real fir tree in the living room with just some simple colourful balls and long silver icicles. I t goes back to the first times of Christmas that I can recall. But times have changed and we have move to one small fake fir. We do not put it up until December.
    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving. May it all work out!