December 4, 2012
If you’re like me …okay, okay, I didn’t mean to insult you … you are still decorating for Christmas. Why? Because you can never be too tacky when celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus. Now, Jesus didn’t go in for a lot of frills, he was more concerned with feeding the hungry, healing the sick and being a thorn in the side of the establishment. However, in today’s world we chose to honor him with dancing reindeer, smiling snowmen and elves of suspect gender.
Although the Mistress of the Manor and I keep our inside decorations tasteful and refined, when it comes to the outside of the manor, we attempt to be as tacky as everyone else. Our outside decorations this Christmas season … that’s right, Christmas season, not holiday season… began with an unexpected adornment – our normal inside tree. After retrieving the tree of my outbuilding, we proceeded to decorate like a couple of elves high on Santa sugar. When we were done, the tree was absolutely beautiful.
However, we soon noticed a strange odor in our beloved abode. What was it? Well, anytime there’s a strange odor in the house, the Mistress of the Manor immediately claims there’s a dead mouse behind the refrigerator. Why it’s always the refrigerator, I don’t know. Possibly, because when a mouse knows it’s dying, its natural instincts tell it to seek solace behind the hardest to move object in a house, or the Mistress of the Manor likes to see the veins pop out on my forehead. It could be either. Anyway, the smell became rather unpleasant, something akin to a dead mouse (not my words) or the afterbirth of an elf-reindeer hybrid.
We began narrowing the possibilities after looking behind every object in the house (I found no dead mice), and soon realized it was our most beautiful Christmas tree that was releasing the pungent odor. It had been stored in the same plastic box that it has been stored in for 10 years or so, so why it decided to start stinking things up is anybody’s guess. It could have something to do with mice, refrigerators or gender-challenged elves, I just don’t know. So, we dragged it outside to our front porch, ornaments and all, and there it still resides. We did move the ornaments to our new inside tree, but left the lights on the old, stinky tree so as to add a festive spirit to the porch.
However, that wasn’t enough. We then added garland to the porch railings, as well as red ribbon to produce a candy cane effect. To emphasize that theme, we hung giant candy canes from the railing. Oh yes, we have two deer that light up, wreaths on the front and back, and there may be more to come. Now, we’re not trying to go for any record here. I mean there are homesteads in this little burg that make us look like a one-bulb wonder. Now, whether you have enough decorations to create an electric bill that surpasses that of Bangladesh or a small amount like me, they have one thing in common. All decorations look much better after dark.
Yes, at night, all those pretty lights look so beautiful, so dazzling. The more lights you have, the bigger the bang. However, when the sun rises, it’s a different story. The less decoration of the lighted variety you have, the better off you are. While the front of our home may look like someone spilled a box of lights and giant candy canes on our porch, some homes look like Christmas drank way too much spiked eggnog and threw up on them. Those lighted reindeer look great at night, but in the light of day they resemble assembled skeletons. Those lights that encircle the house, lighting it up like a magical castle at night, scream Tennessee in July during the bright sun.
Therein lies the conundrum. Is the beauty of the night worth the tackiness of the day? Are the high electric bills and long hours of physical labor worth the oohs and aahs of passersby? Is that elf Santa was spotted with at Club Naughty really his niece? So many questions, so few answers. However, when in doubt, don’t spare the juice. Light it up, and light it up big. Tackiness is as much a part of Christmas as belligerent relatives who drink too much, gaudy sweaters that scream “shoot me, now!” and, yes, stinky Christmas trees.