I don’t do holiday decorations. Lighted trees, animated nativity scenes, herds of lit-up reindeer loitering on the lawn like they’re waiting for a 5 o’clock bus…you won’t see any of that in my front yard. Actually, come mid-December, you won’t see my front yard at all. That’s because compared to the rest of the flashing, blinking houses lighting up our neighborhood, we look like the one casino on the strip who forgot to pay their light bill. The Caesar’s Palace of Deadbeats.
It’s not that I dislike Christmas. Or Santa. Or electricity. I just don’t feel the need to combine them. I’d rather spend my December weekends curled up on the couch reading a book than perched atop a 10 foot ladder stringing bubble lights over the garage. And while most people say they decorate for their children’s sake, I’m sure my kids aren’t suffering any. At least not as much as they would be if we had to cash in their savings bonds to pay for the use of 50,000 kilowatts. Besides, if the boys want to see a thousand strings of light, all they have to do is put on their sunglasses and look at the neighbor’s house. That damn thing’s so covered with holiday cheer, it’s the only thing on our planet visible from space besides the Great Wall of China. Plus, it blinks.
There’s another reason I’m not decorating my house this Christmas and that’s the sad fact that our street has been hit by a rather nasty crime wave this year. Over the past month, my neighbors have awakened only to find their yards littered with the lifeless bodies of poor, helpless, innocent victims. Yes, there, motionless on their lawns, lie stabbed inflatable Snowmen, decapitated Santas and, perhaps the worst offense of all, wire reindeer that, sometime during the night, were repositioned into acts I’m pretty sure are still illegal in Texas. They definitely give new meaning to the phrase “On Dasher!”, anyway. So the point is, even if I did put up an inflatable snow globe filled with ice skating penguins and hockey playing polar bears, I’d then have to surround my yard with inflatable Rottweilers, inflatable security guards and an inflatable alarm system and honestly, who wants the hassle of that? I get winded blowing up a balloon.
This December, I’m going to just relax. Take it easy. Maybe if I get caught up in the season, I’ll suck it up and buy a couple of poinsettias for the front porch. Or hang up a wreath. But really, isn’t the holiday spirit that’s inside of us what really counts? Isn’t the way we treat other people what really spreads the message of the season? Or at least that’s what I’ll be telling myself in January–when I’m curled up on the couch watching my neighbors take down the bubble lights from their garage.