Thursday, December 10, 2009

Light'er Up

'Tis the season for Christmas lights. Every other house seems to be participating so far this year, every other house decked out in lights, blow-up figures, and icicles from every horizontal surface. I like a good lighting scene as much as the next person, but some people have taken holiday decorating a bit too far if you ask me.

I was driving home the other night when I spotted a Christmas lighting abomination: seven large blow-up figures, five or six wire-light-mechanical deer things, an entire tree smothered in net lights, rows of lights outlining each eve and window, and Santa in an blow-up airplane dive-bombing a nativity scene. Not quite a partridge in a pear tree, but loud enough I say. I'm not trying to exert control or shame these people as much as offer a question: at what point can we make fun of people for their overzealous holiday displays? Seems to me the blow-up snowmen don't exactly invoke the Reason for the Season, let alone a hint of holiday cheer.

It's the yards lit up like daylight that bother me. It's the huge displays of consumerism and power-sucking gaudiness. It's trying to keep up with the Jones. Ugh.

What happened to made-in-the-woodshop oversized holiday cards displayed on the front lawn? What happened to creativity and unique ideas? Are we now so consumer-driven that we can't be original in how we say "Happy Holidays"? Sure, be the first to get the LED lights, save some energy, and try to look cool, but give it a year. One year. Next year everything will be LEDs. Brighter, louder, bigger, more obnoxious. Of course, some would argue "better" because they draw less energy, but after stringing forty sets together instead of the old three-or-less rule, I argue it won't make much difference energy-wise.

I miss lighting displays with personality. I miss the neat single row Dad set out every year. None of this bright-as-daylight crap or blow-up crap. It's all crap now. I'm not impressed.

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