Saturday, December 12, 2015


I enjoy decorating for the holidays. Time constraints have scaled it back a little this year, but I'm hitting all the big marks---tree, porch, windows, packages, cookies. (You say cookies aren't a decoration? You decorate your way...) Every year I say I'm cutting back, I'm just doing A, B, and C this year, and before you know it I'm at L, M, N, O....

But there's lots to enjoy. For one thing, taking out new bundles of lights. I like to test them before I untie the bundles, which always looks like some kind of wired explosive so powerful that it glows in the dark.

Powerful Christmas spirit!

Explosive potential aside, the place looks fun when it's done, and jangles my nostalgia nerves very strongly.

I love to see houses decked out in Christmas lights. I understand why a lot of people don't do up their homes, of course. Why, they may not be Christian, for one thing! Or they may be old and infirm, or broke, or just sick of the whole megillah since the kids grew up. Or worse, dealing with horrible tragedy and grief that makes the merry aspects of the holiday unbearable. No one would fault anyone for skipping the froufrou under the circumstances.

For the rest of you, let's get going!

The outer boroughs of the city in my youth, and probably now, had lots of ethnic homogeneity (most still have, actually, although the ethnicity changes over time), and that yielded some great benefits---fine dining, for one, and in the average Christian neighborhoods the whole block would be lit up with Christmas lights in December. It was even better if the block was all Italian, because they would compete like crazy. Smart houses with little yards jammed with light-up plastic nativities, choirs, Santas, reindeer, carolers, elves, toys, and what-have-you jumbled up together. Going down a block like that is like being in a magical Christmas land to a little kid.

So I'm glad when I drive around and see a lot of lights out this time of year. As I've said before, if we really were firm in our faith, we Christians might never want to take them down.

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