A Whole New World

December 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

After a great weekend at home visiting my parents and sister, I feel completely in the Christmas spirit swing of things.  I haven’t been home to just visit for a weekend like this since I was in college.  Amazing how rejuvenating just hanging out with family can be…assuming you like your family.  Me, I have always been fortunate to like my family.  In fact, I have a hard time relating to people who are constantly fighting with their parents or siblings – but I can see how it happens.  Think about it, often, your parents and your siblings are the people most like you.  And “they” (who is this “they”?) always say what you don’t like about yourself you see in others…so if you’re looking at someone who is just like you and you’re staring at what you don’t like, I get how it could make for a tense Thanksgiving dinner every other year or so where you say through clenched teeth, “Passtheturkey.  PLEASE.” But what you really mean is, “I disagree with your life choices and their effect on my existence.”

Luckily, I don’t see anything I don’t like in my family members.

Okay, enough mushy love.

I had a terrific run on Friday morning.  I went about 3 miles and I finally graduated to running in the neighborhood that backs up to ours.  HALLELUJAH!  I’m telling you what, trying to run more than a couple of miles in a neighborhood that only has a half mile loop is the definition of insanity.  I see the same houses overandoverandover again.  Boooring.  I find that when I’m bored, it’s easier to quit.  Suddenly, I get bored and then it’s like, “what that? My ankle is a little sore?”  “whats that? My stomach is rumbling?”  or “what’s that?  I just remembered I don’t reallllllly want to be running this morning when I could be watching a morning marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC?”

I did a lap about our neighborhood then cut through my backyard and a neighbor’s yard to get to the next subdivision.  It was akin to sneaking out of summer camp late at night to get to the boys’ cabins.  J  I ran FAST on those yards, as we all know, swiftly moving feet barely damage the grass of your lawn-conscious co-inhabitants.  Sure.  Whatever.

I made it to the next neighborhood and it was like a new world.  Hey!  I haven’t seen that house before.  Hey!  I haven’t done the half-nod to that passing motorist before.  Wow!  I haven’t seen that trampoline-turned-garbage-receptacle before.  I’m guessing it was last year’s big Christmas present and then two dozen jumps, three in-the-air-flips and one sleepover later, it lost its appeal (so probably like March).  Now, it’s holding 3 dozen black bags holding….leaves?  Dead bodies?  Only the owners know for sure.

Over the course of my run, I did a lot of thinking about Christmas decorations.  You can’t help but notice the disparity among the houses, especially when you run in someone else’s neighborhood.  Which leads me to my first bout of…..


I have ALWAYS taken issue with Christmas decorations.  I don’t know at what point I was deemed Chief Deputy of the Décor Patrol, but it is a task I take very seriously.  Each year, my gripes adapt to the current trend or travesty.

* First and foremost, please, please please, choose your theme and stick to it.  Nothing is more confusing for those of us who feast our eyes on your light displays that include nothing short of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, the reindeer, a Mickey Mouse blow up snow globe, a utility box wrapped to look like a giant gift and a Nativity scene of the Holy Family.  Wow.  Sensory overload.  Choose.  Choose wisely.  If you’re going to be a decorator who believes in “The Reason for the Season”, stop and think.  The third wise man was NOT Frosty the Snowman and the gifts were NOT gold, frankincense and light-up candy cane driveway markers.

* Recognize that an abundance of lights does not make up for a lack of class.  On a drive through some of the less cosmopolitan parts of my Midwestern state, I realized people in the country do it up.  They do it up big.  Oh boy.  Hanging so many twinkling icicle lights that it requires them to fire up the back-up generator from a nearby county DOES NOT cancel out the fact that you still leave them up all year long.  Oh, and if it doesn’t occur in nature, why simulate it in Christmas lights?  I have yet to see a multi-colored icicle and I consider myself pretty well-traveled.

* Finally, those blow up snow globes, carousels, Santa Clauses or whatever they may be.  I find them not only a hazard to small children everywhere, but they cause a yo-yo effect to the Christmas spirit.  What is little Taylor or Jordan to think if they constantly see an inflatable snow globe with life-sized (well, child-sized) characters inside, frolicking in Styrofoam snow? I’m actually surprised we don’t see more headlines that read like this: “Child trapped inside globe, says she just wanted to make a snow angel with Rudolph.  Details at 11.”  And the worst part, these people, these celebrants who choose such gaudy lawn décor then choose to let them fall in a heap when the plug is pulled.  That same “majestic” carousel with Santa, Mickey and Minnie spinning about gleefully last night is now a puddle of polyurethane and brightly colored parachute material in the stark contrast of daylight.  It’s even worse in households with more than one inflatable – it looks like an oxygen-deprivation rave with beloved characters crushed about your brown lawn, hungover from a hard night. What kinds of a message are sending these kids?  Forget about the worry over death panels, people should be up in arms about the choice to pull the plug on inflatables!

Please — for the love of ol’ Saint Nick.  Choose your decorations wisely, select your theme with care and leave the life-sized animated decorations where they belong – the Disney World magical holiday celebration.  Book your tickets now and save the rest of us the horror.

1 Comment »

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  1. Sam sent me the link to your blog and it is wonderful 🙂
    All of the amazing commentary that is in your head while running is certainly providing entertainment.

    Em and I have a blog; however, we haven’t been very committed to writing it. Well… looks like I need to start blogging to get out all of my thoughts.

    I am looking forward to seeing you over the Christmas season!

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