I live in what passes for the suburbs in my town. Better yet, I live on a cul-de-sac in a great, big happy circle of neighbourly friendliness and holiday pride. The Christmas season here always starts in November with one of my neighbours dragging out a ladder and 5 miles of lights to hang on the house. This, and the fear of weather turning cold, has a domino effect on my other neighbours and, before you can sing the Hallelujah Chorus, our happy circle is awash in a Christmas glow that would put Las Vegas to shame.
I refuse to play nice, mostly because I'm lazy and not very creative about Christmas lighting. I eschew using the last warm days of November thinking about Christmas, telling all who'll listen that no tinsel shall set foot on my property until December 1. It also helps that, unlike many of my neighbours, I no longer have small kids in my house to cajole and whine about the lack of red-green-gaudiness in the front yard.
So December 1 has come and gone and, still, no Christmas lights illuminate my driveway. Having given up risking my health by hanging lights off the roof, I now put my lack of creativity to work on what I call 'the ground display' - various lighted and air-filled doodads that make the front yard look like a squatter's camp on the Island of Misfit Toys.
In my heart, I want to be good at this stuff. But what I would love to be able to do...
...is very much beyond what I'm capable of doing.
This year, however, I thought I'd try an upgrade.
I've always been underwhelmed by our lighted wire-frame wreath that hangs over the garage door. This year, I decided we should replace it with a very large artificial wreath. It would look good during the day and, once the Sun set, it would be lit with many white pin-lights woven into the wreath material. This was my simple dream.
It took a few days to find my wreath - a 4-footer that was the last one in the store. When I took it home I found out why it was an orphan. The wreath material had pulled away from the backing frame in spots. No problem, I could fix it with a handful of small zip-ties. But then I decided it looked pretty boring. It needed pizzazz. So I spent some time affixing plastic Christmas ornaments - a selection of gold-coloured balls - all around the wreath. After an of hour or so of effort, I was pretty impressed with myself, being all creative and stuff.
The plan was to hang my new wreath yesterday (and put out some other ground display doodads) to let my neighbours know that I'm no Scrooge. I imagined them making a point to knock on my door and complement my new wreath. I'd smile awkwardly and casually mention how I had just about made that wreath myself. And they'd be all impressed and basically consider me Christmas King of the Cul-de-sac.
Of course, it didn't work out.
True to form, my garage door broke a few evenings ago. With the door stuck in the 'closed' position, there was no way to get my ladder out to hang my wreath. Sure, I could have borrowed a ladder from a neighbour, but that would sort of jeopardize my plan to become Christmas King.
As of last night door is fixed - at least in a temporary fashion until new springs can be ordered and installed. So tonight it happens. Tonight the brand new wreath I almost made by myself will be hung over the garage door. I haven't quite worked out the details for how it will hang, but I'm pretty sure it'll get figured out. Right?