Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No 'Mas! No 'Mas!

Can you stand it?  In or about three short weeks from today it shall be....BOXING DAY!  Holy maple syrup for everyone Batman! 

As far as I know, which in my home is code for as far as Margaret has told me, our Christmas decorating is now complete.  Once upon what seems like a lifetime ago, my wife used to allow me to run wild festooning the interior of our home with all types of just this side short of adorable, wholly tacky Christmas decorations.  We had it all - from a Santa Claus who climbs up and down his ladder all night to a lamppost with a face reminiscent of a young Frank Sinatra who croons a variety of different Yuletide classics accompanied by that classic Big Band sound.  From a singing Santa to a dancing snowman, if it was cheesy it found a place inside of the four walls of our home. 

Somewhere along the way - while I know not whether I finally grew up a little bit more or simply lost interest in the exercise - I ceased to put the overwhelming majority of that 'stuff' out.  Truth be told, I have gotten lazier as I have gotten older.  My reservoir of enthusiasm for all things is significantly less full now than it was a decade ago.  Decorating for Christmas has not been spared from the downturn.  This year, only two of our traditionally tacky decorations have found a place in our home and in the interest of full disclosure neither of them is anywhere near the top of the list in terms of "Most Tacky Decoration".  Not even in the Top Twenty-Five. 

Never - not even in my tackiest days - did I share my preference for the profane with our neighbors.  All of my "treasures" were indoor decorations.  The psychological trauma inflicted by their presence was confined to those of us who resided within the four walls of our home.  I only wish that everyone in my neighborhood embraced my "everyone else first" philosophy.

Our neighbor who lives across the street from us on the driveway side of our home (our home is located on a corner lot) has always seemed to me to be a really good human being.  He is a Captain in the local Fire Department and is a Supervisor of some sort at PSEG.  His home was among the homes in our town that had its power return as part of the final phase of restoration so he and his family endured more than their fair share of Sandy-related upsetment. 

He and his wife have three kids - the oldest of whom is in college (but who may in fact live home and day hop to school) and his youngest is (as far as my untrained eye can tell) ten to twelve years old.  She, the youngest daughter, is a cookie-selling machine for the army of green uniform-adorned mercenaries who roam the neighborhood on what feels like a monthly basis but is likely something far less in fact.  I am terrible at estimating the age of children but I know that the youngest daughter used to wear a Brownie uniform when she came across the street for the "Samoa Shakedown".  For the past couple of years at least she has been resplendent in Girl Scout green.  Thus while he has kids at home, none of them are of "moppet" age any longer. 

The absence of moppets makes his increasingly irritating and idiotic outdoor Christmas displays that much harder to take.  When we returned home from Colorado - two days AFTER Thanksgiving - he already had the entire circus up and running on his lawn and on the roof of his home.  In a singularly inane move, he has piped music outside.  His blinking lights - of which there appears to be no more than 837,000 (conservatively speaking) have been synchronized to blink in time with the music.  It is enough to make me contemplate taking a long, slow drive past the Kingdom's Hall of Jehovah Witnesses over on William Street to give their philosophy on holidays a once-over.

Lucky us, we have already been subjected to his obnoxious decorations for more than a week.  Particularly delightful is the fact that on weekend days - even when no eclipse activity is reported or anticipated - he turns the lights and music on in the late morning/early afternoon.  By the time nightfall arrives the wished-for onset of deafness has been replaced by an even more sincere hope for blindness. 

All I want for Christmas is the patience needed to resist the temptation to sneak across the street in the wee small hours of the morning - when I leave for work and the rest of the 'hood is still asleep - and short out a wire or ten on his outdoor display.  I would gladly trade my immortal Yuletide soul a lump of coal, which I would squirrel away until the Clark Griswold wannabe hauls all of his Christmas crap out of storage in 2013 with an eye toward hurling it towards something (or things) that shall take up residence on his front lawn. 
 
If history is any guide, then it will surely be a target-rich environment.

-AK


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