This is the type of display for which I strive each year. It includes
every string of lights that can be scrounged up from the atticalong
with a cartload purchased as soon as Walmart replaces the Brach's
Mellowcreme Pumpkins with Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes in
late October. This is the kind of overwhelming display that might
cause acute retinal damage with prolonged exposure. It's truly a
sight to beholdif you dare.
The My-Wife-Made Me-Do-It
This display (if you can call it that) is clearly installed under
duressand probably during the commercial breaks of a Dallas
Cowboys football game. The jumbled lights look as if they've been
strung by someone being attacked by hornets, and they include the
absolute minimummaybe one string of bulbs and a mildewed inflatable
Nutcracker sagging toward the storm drain. It's better than nothingbut
It's obvious that someone paid big bucks to have professionals do
all the work on this geometrically-precise display with meticulous
ridge line coverage. It's beautiful, no doubt, even bordering on
the Griswold, but I say that if you aren't in a bad mood and in
need of prescription painkillers when you're done, it doesn't count.
This is the house without so much as a plastic baby Jesus glowing
on the porch, a single cheap light-up deer in the yard, or even
a wreath of dilapidated pine cones on the front door. It's almost
ostentatiously dark and gloomy.
When I see these houses during the holidays, I often catch myself
mumbling something like, "How can they not put out a single decoration?
Are they out of Tylenol?"
My wife inevitably replies, "Maybe they can't afford decorations.
They could be ill or elderly. Or maybe they don't celebrate Christmas."
Then I feel like The Grinch, Scrooge, The Abominable Snow Monster,
Heat Miser, Mr. Potter, Frank Shirley and Scut Farkus all rolled
into one insensitive naughty-list doofus.
It's at those times that I need a good lecture from Linus in "A
Charlie Brown Christmas." Sure, Snoopy has the best lights, but
Linus knows what Christmas is all about.