Decorate To Your Heart’s Content

Columnist turns to exaggeration to poke fun at a holiday pastime when people decorate their homes with lights and elfs.


When we moved to our beautiful suburban home, we went all out with holiday decorating, putting strings of lights over, around and across the front of the house, not only bringing in holiday cheer, but giving the neighborhood ample light for nighttime reading. While it’s true that rolling neighborhood brown-outs did compel us to tone it down in later years, we still like to decorate, provided we get a few unseasonably warm post-Thanksgiving weekend days and a volume discount from our power company. Sadly, though, while the weather might sometimes comply, the power company never does.

Nonetheless, this year we decided to go all out. The icicle lights and inflatables were pulled from their boxes and went up.

Here are some ways in which, as an artist, I am pushing the boundaries:

  • Our life-sized rooftop Santa has eight real, terrified reindeer!
  • We have a Frosty the Snowman, but he’s Abominable! (And hungry – watch out, Santa’s little helpers!)
  • Our Peppermint canes are imported fresh from Candyland!
  • Our “nativity of light” is so bright it can be seen from space! (Where, unfortunately, a sophisticated alien race mistook it for something else entirely, and have now set off on a million light-year journey to wage war against Earth.)

I also plannned, this year, to engage senses other than just the eyes.

Everybody loves to hear dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” so I’ve taken it a step further and assembled a choir of Doberman Pinschers. Not only can they bark “Jingle Bells,” but they can howl “God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen” and perform “Good King Wenceslas” complete with accompanying historical narration. Come see them on Christmas Day.

Additionally, I believe in realism, so I’ve managed to import, fresh from horse country, some real, honest-to-goodness manger smell. I don’t believe it’s possible to truly appreciate the meaning of Christmas and how there was “no room at the inn,” without it.

If you think that’s plenty, it’s only the beginning: 1.79 gigawatts of power and a staff of 57 indentured elf servants labored 24 hours a day, seven days a week! So come on by! ***

*** Author’s wife’s note: No, don’t come by. Mike has done none of these things. 


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