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Creeping festivity (an homage)

December 3, 2012

Doesn't this just make you want to go roast some chestnuts?

Doesn’t this just make you want to go roast some chestnuts?

We put up the first of the Christmas decorations last night, three LED snowflakes whose electric cords are stupidly short. They go in the front window, to be followed by an assortment of colored lights around the window frames, then bric-a-brac and a belated Advent calendar with missing pieces and, in time, a tree. A real tree, bought at a real lot from a real person with real money. (In my experience inserting more than one “fake” in that previous sentence leads to disaster anyway.) It’s a gradual process this year, which is fine–the all-at-once stuff is for people who don’t have lives or who actually schedule decorating on their smart phone calendars with a little alarm that plays “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in an ominous minor key.

Personally, I have issues with putting up Christmas stuff the day after I mowed the lawn for what I again swore was the last time this year. It’s going to be 76 degrees today, December 3rd. By the end of the week, though, they predict a bone-chilling 56 for the high, so I’ll need to make sure we’re stocked up on hot cocoa. (All temperatures are in honest Fahrenheit degrees, for my readers everywhere but the United States. If God had meant us to have measurements based on tens, we’d have ten fingers or something.) At least we don’t have any of those huge inflatable decorations for outside. Nothing says “Jingle Bells” like an eight-foot snowman surrounded by dandelions.

We may lose one piece of decorative splendor this year, as the old solar-powered blinking yard lights that are supposed to be doves but which might be badgers or, for that matter, amoebae, didn’t work well last season. I’m betting they give up the Ghost of Christmas Present this time around. On the other hand, their oddly sharp steel support rods remain viable, and may get repurposed as planting markers or part of an elaborate trap for carolers. On the off chance we get snow by Christmas, they could do both.

Speaking of music, some neighbors down the street have those running color-changing LEDs you can program to blink in a variety of sequences, the better to co-ordinate one’s holiday multi-media extravaganza. I decided to save money and simply have our display synchronize with something more classical: John Cage’s 4:33. Go ahead and Google it, I’ll wait. *whistles “Christmas at Ground Zero* Find it? See, blogs aren’t always cultural wastelands!

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