Holiday Fever

November 26, 2007

We returned from our Thanksgiving trip last night to discover the early signs of Holiday fever with the appearance of big puffy holiday creatures in front yards, bright lights, and festive wreaths. During our bike ride tonight we stopped to admire one yard filled with mechanical figures. We watched as the owner of the house methodically went around his yard with a can of green spray paint to disguise the spider web of wires in his lawn. He was very focused on his task and grumbled to us that he had been working on the yard for the past two days. This little glimpse into suburban holiday preparation left me feeling split in two. On one hand it made me wonder "is this what the holiday spirit is really about? spray painting the wires to match the grass, isn't that going overboard?" and on the other hand it got my competitive fire going. Once we got back home I headed straight to the garage and started to unpack our Hanukkah decorations.

Now this is a point of contention for some Jewish families. Hanukkah is not traditionally a big holiday in the Jewish calendar but with the close proximity to Christmas and the increasing commercialism of holidays, Hanukkah has become a more prominent holiday. I haven't seen any big inflatable menorahs or mechanical dreidles in front yards (don't be surprised if those appear on shelves soon) but it is much easier to find Hanukkah related items these days. Some argue that displaying lights in the yard or having too many decorations around the house is a sign of "assimilation" and shouldn't be a part of the holiday celebrations. We however feel that some blue and white lights in the yard is a good way to mark the "Festival of Lights".

So with my competitive fire burning I frantically untangled our lights from last year and tried to get them hung before it got too dark. Note to self: in the future don't do it solo. I ended up nearly breaking our dining room window when I fell from a ledge on top of the ladder which was useless in the thick mounds of mulch and mushroom compost (my secret weapon for winning yard of the month). I twisted an ankle, bruised an elbow, and thought I had a bloody nose (turned out it was just competitive juices!) But I got up and finished the job. By nightfall we had blue and white lights around the front of the house. Our dreidle wreaths proudly hung on the front door. I hate to think this was all brought on by my desire to keep up with the Joneses. I'd like to think that under that frantic rush of adrenaline was my desire to create a magical and memorable holiday tradition and to proudly show that amongst our neighborhood displays of Santa and Rudolf there is also a place for our Hanukkah lights (and the menorrah that will soon be glowing in our front window).
Heather said...

I'm glad you didn't break any bones (or windows!). I always enjoy seeing the occasional menorah in the window--a nice contrast to the more commercial Santa decor. :)

Ann said...

I'm sure that it looks just beautiful. I can just see you almost breaking a femur trying to get your lights up!! LOL!!

Corinne said...

That was a silly image of you in my head. I love that we all have our own traditions. You go girl!!

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