Thursday, December 07, 2006

Deck your own halls.

Look out, folks. The PP and I have started our Christmas decorating.

We were shamed over the weekend by our neighbors, who were in the midst of hanging light icicles from their eves. "Be warned," they said, looking down from the ladder. "You live next to the Griswolds!" They told us they were not sure whether their transformer could handle the load. They told us that should their house catch fire, we should let the muthafucka burn, because, after all, who wants a half-burnt house?

It turns out they have a great looking set-up, with wreaths and garlands and ribbons and the aforementioned icicle lights. And a spotlight, which shows off their wreaths at night. This spotlight is almost not noticeable from the street (unless you get to wondering why you can see the wreaths at night), but from inside their living room, apparently, it looks like Close Encounters Does Christmas.

Oh man, we thought. And all we were trying to do was go for a walk, get a little sun, and take a wee break from work. Now we have Another Project To Deal With. So in walking around the neighborhood we thought about options: lights or no lights? how to attach wreaths? should we put an inflatable santa on our roof?

Before you know it, the PP had a plan.

We both took Wednesday off work and we went to Garden Ridge in search of garlands, ribbons, and fresh wreaths. That last part was my insistence, because I thought the fresh ones smell nicer and the fake ones might look, well, fake.

Do not go to Garden Ridge if you are afraid of Christmas, or if you are looking for real greenery, or if gigantic inflatable snowglobes give you the heebie-jeebies, or if you have problems with the phrasing "All Christmas On Sale," or if you are inclined to grow impatient with other shoppers who are trying to decide which kind of ribbon to buy while standing with their gigantic cart blocking the aisle. While you are there, you must beware of men creating hazards by trying to dodge slow-moving carts, and of your eyes' tendency to glaze over as the sheer magnitude of the season numbs your soul.

We found cheap-looking garlands, but the PP did not want them. "They look cheap," he said. We found pre-made bows, but no no no I wanted to make my own from ribbon. We found the ribbon, which was loosely sorted by color, and found a decent red with gold accents. We found candle rings made of fake cranberries that I thought I could probably deconstruct to affix to our wreaths. I was looking at the fake fruit, trying to decide whether to go Williamsburg in my wreath decor when the PP showed up with an armful of "holly" sprigs, with "pinecones" attached. We decided little fake cherries would be more visible from the street than any of the other things, found more expensive garlands that looked more convincing and even had "pinecones" and "berries" in them. "Should we get snowman heads for the wreaths?" I asked. "Just keep moving," said the PP. Then the PP: "Look! 60 gift bags for $6.99!" See? This is the kind of thing that can happen to you at Garden Ridge.

Then to Lowe's for wire ties, and to the Marché frais for real wreaths (with real pinecones!) and a chicken potpie for dinner (because unlike some people, I don't make my own) and home we went.

You know? Our little array of "garlands" and wreaths with "cherries" and homemade bows does not look half bad! The only trouble is, you can't see the wreaths at night. Perhaps if we arranged some kind of spotlight....


estaminet said...

Thank you for my first out-loud guffaw of the day. Personally, it is my goal to avoid any aspect of the season that looks remotely like a Gap or Old Navy ad. If I can manage that, I will have done well.

Rebecca said...

Here in Northern NJ, there is no avoiding the inflatable snow globes... They even sell them at the grocery stores! And if you want the true Christmas shopping spirit, you should go to one of our local malls on a Saturday.

For our part, we let Jonah enjoy the neighbors' lights, we hide from the malls, and we'll see how he feels about Chanukah candles (from a safe distance).

Anonymous said...

Sounds as though you had a grand time getting into the spirit of the holiday. I second estaminet's comment--a great way to start my day.

mateen said...

Having been rebuffed for his inspired suggestion of adding dozens of seasonally green and white Spartie santas, Mateen finds himself haunted by another matter: what has become of the doorman penguin?

Isis said...

Aha! Thanks for the reminder. we are hoping to get out the lights today, and the aforementioned penguin is with them....