Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men...

Around this time of year, I get called a lot of names, even more so than usual: Scrooge, humbug, jerk, heathen, and some others that are less kind. It’s because I don’t get into the Christmas season. Actually, that’s an understatement. I do just about anything possible to avoid it. Other than the obligatory office parties, I don’t intentionally go anywhere Christmasy. I avoid the malls (which I do usually anyway,) major retail stores, parades, and most Christmas parties thrown by family and friends unless they’re completely irreverent (like Guy’s with the fog machine and Santa hat-wearing skulls dangling from the ceiling) or there are copious amounts of free booze to be had (I would go to a Babyeaters Anonymous meeting if there were copious amounts of free booze to be had. I would even claim to eat babies with hollandaise sauce for breakfast if the Bloody Marys were exceptionally good.) I also refuse to wear any Christmas-themed clothing. If you try to get me to wear a Christmas sweater, I will murder you.

It’s not that I’m a horrible troll of a person who hates peace on Earth and goodwill towards men. Really, I’m all for the peace and goodwill. I just don’t find anything peaceful about being assaulted with Christmas music and lights before Halloween candy has disappeared from store shelves. Especially synthesizer heavy Christmas music like Mannheim Steamroller or Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or coma inducing music by John Tesh. It grates on every fiber of my being. But can you guess what I hate more than the music? Decorating for Christmas, especially lights.

I blame this on my mother (Hi, Mom! Merry Christmas!) She absolutely loves decorating for Christmas, especially by stringing white lights around anything that sits still long enough. (She once mummified one of our family cats with Christmas lights after he fell asleep in the den. True story.*) What this meant was, after we were done with the actual Christmas tree, Dad and I would march outside into the cold, armed with boxes full of Christmas lights, extension cords, and electrical tape. The remainder of the day would be spent perched perilously on stepladders, hanging lights on most of the outdoor shrubbery and assorted small trees. Then, when we were all done, Mom would come out and kindly explain how we had done most of it wrong and maybe we should redo those last three shrubs. Then she would stab us. After the lights were done, there were wreaths and ribbons to be hung. Decorating with Mom was a multi-day process, and we had to listen to Mannheim Steamroller, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and John Tesh until our ears bled. My dad is a much better man than I am. To this day, he still helps with all of the decorating, while my sister and I have fled the house and plan our visits carefully around potential decorating days. For instance, I only visit after dark during meal times, and almost never on weekends until it’s halfway into January, because all of those lights have to come down after New Year’s Day.

*No, it’s not. She tried to, but I swooped in and saved his furry little life at the last minute**

**No, I’m lying again. She never attempted this, although she did threaten to***

***She really did threaten to.

People in Berkeley and Oakland claim that living in the hills of the East Bay is better than in San Francisco because they have a view of the city.

Well, I for one, can say thank you for all of the traditional white-light hubub of your youth, because from my house, Christmas would not have been right if there were not twinkling lights across the cove.

Sooo....thanks Taylor clan for years and years of white lights. As I read your description I could see the back yard in my imagination.

Ciao Tutti,

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