We never put up lights on our own house, because then someone might drive by and smirk at our inability to translate the holiday spirit into anything better than a sporadically lit shrub. Frankly we just don’t have the energy it takes to decorate in a way that is going to inspire awes of wonder and respect.
Tonight we went by a house that had three little mechanical men on the roof holding binoculars to their eyes. They spun around above an illuminated sign that read, “Santa Watch 2004”. Behind them were two, TWO, moving satellite dishes, presumably searching for Santa’s sleigh. And you know how I could see those TWO satellites in the dark? There were two spotlights on them. All of this was of course in addition to the flawlessly strung lights that outlined every inch of the house to perfection. The scene was reminiscent of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. I didn’t even bother rolling down my window to hear the musical accompaniment. I feared I may have to start a church in their front lawn if I was hit with any more spirit from this house.
Next door to Disneyland Jr. there were several strings of mismatched lights covering the bushes as if they had been thrown on during a severe case of hiccups. If I squinted the lights almost seemed to form a hand, but with only one finger standing up. It was probably just my imagination.
Then there was the house down the block that was trying desperately to be Disneyland Jr. but was barely making Dollywood quality. I could tell their heart was in the right place. They wanted to express exactly how much they loved the holiday season. And if the amount of lights they use is any indication of the amount of presents they give I have just made it my New Years resolution to become friends with the habitants of this house. There is no adequate way to describe the amount of lights on this house. Words would simply not do the electricity drainer justice. Like the other house I could make something out when I squinted. It looked like a hand this time too. Only this time it was the hand of God as he reached down to removed the house and replaced it with a big ass light bulb. A randomly blinking, variously colored light bulb. But the lights were not the only deliverers of the spirit. There was also a manger scene, several hundred plastic candycanes and an empty sleigh. I imagine the big guy had escaped to the tranquillity of the Santa picture line at the mall. He left behind two mechanical reindeer that very well might not have been mechanical when the decoration process began. If they were anything like me they might have just started twitching as a result of the madness that surrounded them.
At this point I declared that I could take no more holiday joy. So we made the journey back to our house of darkness. Once home I curled up next to my Christmas Tree with eleven decorations on it and I contemplated the true meaning of Christmas lights. Am I a bad person because I don’t put up Christmas lights? Am I going to enjoy the holiday less because my electricity bill isn’t going to double this month? And most importantly, do you think they sell those mechanical reindeer year round? Because they would be an absolute hit at my St. Patrick’s Day party next year. St. Pat’s is a day of green beer, weird meat and “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” buttons. Now that’s a holiday I can get spirited about.