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They’re a Bunch of Grinches

When we first moved to our new house, I remember thinking that our neighborhood would be awesome at Christmas time.  We live in a fairly wealthy neighborhood, most of the houses have 4+ bedrooms and 3+ bathrooms, and nearly all of them have three car garages.    Ours has a huge second garage that opens into the backyard.  You get the idea.  So I figured, in a predominantly Christian neighborhood, where people live in big beautiful houses, there would be a decent amount of decoration.  Or, at least tasteful displays of white twinkle lights.

But… there are, like, four houses with lights, including ours.  And ours are pathetic because my husband wasn’t here to hang them, so I settled for decorating the hedges in the front.    I was complaining last night to the huz, and he said “I think our neighbors are too posh for Christmas lights.”  He was joking, I think, but I’m kind of bummed by the lack of pretty.  There aren’t even wreathes on doors!  Nothing.  They’re a bunch of Grinches!

I wasn’t surprised by the lack of Halloween stuff, even the local craft store did not sell any Halloween décor, and Michael’s had just a piddling small selection, but I thought Christmas would be the big one around here.

I miss New England.  I miss how it looked like Christmas everywhere, and La Salette, and entire towns getting a twinkly makeover.  Perhaps it happens here and I’m just not getting out enough to see it.   I may be pagan, but I just love all the holiday stuff.  I love Christmas carols, and cookies, and twinkly lights, and ribbons, and wrapped packages under trees in most of the houses we visit.  I love how everywhere you look everything is pretty, and I love knowing where most of these traditions come from.   I love the sparkle and magick of the whole month of December, and it is bumming me out to not see that here!


12 Responses to They’re a Bunch of Grinches

  1. Branson is HUGE on Christmas. I saw it on the Travel channel. They even have a fountain that shoots fire & water! The show was Most Christmasy Places In America. Maybe they used all the lights! I don’t know how far you are from there, but it might be worth checking out with the littles!

  2. I’m Pagan. I ADORE the trappings of this season! Unapologetically! Who do you think developed the traditions of greenery and lights and whatnot?

    There’s a fantastic book about Winter holidays and how and why they’re celebrated called “Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights” (there’s also one for Spring/Easter). I have no idea if it’s still in print, but if it is, I highly recommend it.

  3. We live in a strictly working class neighborhood, and our neighborhood usually has lots of lights. About 10 blocks from us is the bayfront, with expensive mansions looking over the ocean. Some of those homes are decorated, mostly with single strings of “tasteful” white lights. Most of the mansions have little if any decorations. It’s kind of sad. In any case, I prefer the riot of light and color in our more humble neighborhood. We are celebrating together that way!

    • I think the huz is right and it IS a rich people thing. And it sucks. I miss the color, the fun, the atmosphere of celebrating- together, like you said.

      Its a bummer man.

  4. Totally agree with the rich neighborhood thing. We live in an old run down farmhouse that is right next to the rich neighborhood all the kids go to my son’s school There are LOTS of kids in the neighborhood…Halloween & Christmas decorations suck. it’s hardly worth the time to drive through.
    One of the moms told me they have association regulations about decorations, WTH?? I do not understand that

  5. Maybe the people are too tired/busy to put them up? The only reason why we have lights up at our house is because a male friend came and put them up. I live in Marshfield, MA and I totally, never take for granted all the seasonal decorations that go up-so I can understand you missing New England. When I used to live in Duxbury, I would take a ride to Tinkertown and enjoy how lovely their set up was.

  6. Perhaps you could offer a contest next year for the nicest holiday display. You could do flyers or something. The prize could even be a basket of homemade goodies or something.

    I never had holiday lights when I was a kid and ALWAYS wanted them. As an adult, married, in a house that we owned, we still never had them. I always felt it was his “department.” Then our wife joined us and suddenly we had holiday lights. They would hang them together. WTH?

    Anyway, since moving back out on my own and even remarrying… still no big fancy decorations at all. Someday I will hang lights on an RV, damnit!

  7. I’m a new reader of your blog. (LOVE you already.) I live in a neighborhood that sounds like yours and expected nothing our first year here. We were pleasantly surprised to find that almost EVERY single house goes completely nuts for both Halloween and Christmas. The Halloween scene always reminds me of that part of ET where all the kids are out trick-or-treating. Parents usually get dressed up, too. And most parents carry around an empty glass to be filled with wine or beer at the stops where the kids load up on candy. :) It’s a lot of fun. Christmas lights aren’t show-stopping crazy, but most people put them up. I’m an atheist myself but feel EXACTLY like you do about Christmas. I adore the magic of the season and the sights and smells and traditions. Every year I think my baptist in-laws get a glimmer of hope in their eye that I’m turning their way because of my enthusiasm for it all, but it’s just so completely fun and festive that I can’t help myself. :) Happy New Year to ya!

  8. I feel this. I am from Philadelphia. I come from a neighborhood of working-class, mainly blue collar and union (oh no!) people. Christmas is a pretty big deal in my hometown neighborhood. It’s a sacrament. Big, fat beautifully tacky colored lights are the norm and it’s wonderful. Decor is left up until the Epiphany.

    We moved to the suburbs, home of the McMansions and homeowner’s associations. Decorations are typically more subdued, if they are even used. Most lights are white. Colored lights are a rarity. Some developments do not allow you to put decorations on your front lawn and limit your window decor to a single white electric candle. Never made sense to me – you drop a few hundred thousand (or a few million) on a house and then you pay for a homeowner’s association to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own home. Ridiculous.

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