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Dreaming of Blue Christmas Lights
Why yes, that WAS me stringing Christmas lights all over the front of his house the other day. Me, the guy who used to work every Christmas because he preferred it to a forced march through Holiday Happyland. Me, the guy who went 20 years without so much as a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree in his house. Me, the guy who wrote the song, "I Really Don’t Like Christmas, I’m Just Here For The Food."
What can I say? Things change. And that, in a nutshell, is why I was up on the porch roof muttering some very non-holiday sentiments as I tried to get an uncooperative string of C-9 Christmas lights attached to the gutters.
For years I’ve been a little cynical about Christmas. OK, on some years, a LOT cynical. I would remind you, however, of the old saying "Scratch a cynic, and you find a disappointed romantic." I think that pretty much sums it up for me and Christmas.
Truth be told, I always wanted Christmas lights on the house, going back to kidhood. No, wait. ESPECIALLY at kidhood.
One December night each year, Mom and Dad would tell us to get our coats and pile into the car so we could drive around to look at Christmas decorations. It was great. We’d go from neighborhood to neighborhood, for what seemed like hours, looking for the shiniest examples of Electrified Holiday Cheer.
I loved it - especially the houses with all-blue light displays, as was quite the fashion back then. My sister thought I was nuts. She preferred the multicolored displays as long as they were something she called "tasteful," the meaning of which eluded me then, and come to think of it, eludes me still. My brother didn’t care about color; he was partial to displays that included plastic Santa figurines, preferably on the roof, waving frantically, as if to flag down a passing DC-3.
I always wondered why it was OK for other houses to have Christmas lights, but not ours. The closest we ever got was a string of bulbs on a wreath in our front window. Mom says it’s because Dad wanted it that way. She says this a lot about things from kidhood. Whatever we didn’t get to do, it was always because Dad wanted it that way. Of course, Dad isn’t around to confirm or deny, and hasn’t been for 22 years, so Mom’s pretty much in the clear, allegation-wise.
Anyway, everyone else had lights (or so I said) and we didn’t, and evidently it stayed with me until this year. And that’s what put me up on the roof, overloading the circuits with strings of Festive Yuletide Amperage.
I put them along the gutter, going horizontally across the front of the house, and then circling, candy-cane style, down the porch columns. Then I put a string around the front door.
I’m thinking it still looks incomplete.
I think I’ll get a big wreath and put a string of lights on it, and hang it in the front window. Dad would approve, I think. And so would Vicky. I may not know tasteful, but I know enough to know that multi-colored lights are the way to go ... until January, when I can get a good price on a whole bunch of blue ones.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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