November 14, 2009

It's Starting....

Yep, this picture was taken today, November 14th. And yes, that is a wreath you see, between my husband and his Trusty Assistant. Indeed, those little colored round things are lights.

Christmas lights. Here we go.

We're not the first house to get our lights up this year, but we're the first DIYers to do it. (Woah, did I just say "we"? I am so sorry. There is no "we" involved in the Exterior Holiday Decorating of this house. I am occasionally required to view from a distance and determine if something is straight. Other than that, I must admit, I do absolutely nothing in that department.) Other people have paid professionals to crawl around the roof before today, but after twelve years of this, I'm pretty sure John's got the "pros", hands down.

I know what you're thinking...Wazzup with the lights before Thanksgiving?? For one thing, the Pacific Northwest is not a tropical area, if you have never been here. By this time of the year, we have lots of rain and ice and sometimes even snow. So if we get a dry weekend, with temps over the low 30's, we take advantage of the gift and get the bling on the house, albeit a little early. You would too, I believe, if you had known the pleasure of stringing slippery, wet lights across an even slipperyer roof, with icy rain pouring down the back of your neck (ask John).

And secondly, even if the weather were lovely, it's not a small project. It's kind of a two-weekend deal anymore. Used to be, back when all we had were a couple of cardboard boxes of C9 ceramic light strings in the garage, John could knock those babies out in an afternoon. But those days are gone, ever since some show-off put up icicle lights. I think that's how it began, all those years ago, although it's a fuzzy memory. And then, some guy put a lit-up deer in his yard. I mean, that kind of makes the C9s, look a little lame, doesn't it? We didn't used to be competitive people, but you gotta stay with the speed of traffic or you're going to get run over.

You should see our garage now. Well, you could see it, the original walls and all, if it weren't lined with shelving that now houses the two dozen labeled plastic bins, neatly filled with the Christmas decor. You could see the ceiling too, if it weren't for the deer and the polar bear and the sleigh and the massive Santa and the garland and the 6' wide wreath that hang upside down from the rafters for the other 10 months of the year. And if you think that's bad, let me be clear: we're not even close to being The Best House on the Block.

We do it big, here in Sky Island, or we don't do it at all. We make the news sometimes; we have a steady stream of Looky-Loos for hours, every single night, the entire month of December. We have something for everyone - from the beautifully elegant to the over-the-top musically synchronized light shows, we've got it all. Not until after Thanksgiving, though, are we allowed to turn any of this on. We have scruples, for God's sake! How tacky would that be? Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. Please.

You want to know what the best part is? The thing I look forward to every year, with never dwindling anticipation, is when we bundle up the kids, way past bedtime on a school night, and walk down our spectacular street, oohing and aahing, as if we don't look at it every night. It makes all the prep work and rainy installs and the quadrupled electric bill totally worth it.

It may be my favorite night of the year, here. After Halloween. Or maybe the night we all stumble down the street, sans kids, at our Annual Twelve Drinks of Christmas party.... but wait.

That's another story.


  1. I have to confess, we don't do much with outside lighting, but I do plan to get my tree up early this year!

    12 Drinks of Christmas sounds like a good one! Can't wait to read that post!

  2. One day I'll make it out for the Christmas season so that I can witness it for myself! Enjoy!

  3. Where overseas did you grow up? I grew up in East Africa.....and I WISH my husband would let me start decorating for Christmas!!! I can't wait - esp to decorate our new home!! However, we have all the family coming for Thanksgiving, so he says we can't jump ahead to Christmas and short change the Thanksgiving festivities.......but DAY AFTER you know what I'll be doing!!! :)