Opinion #9: Holiday Decorations
by Jennifer Has Opinions
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, shall we? Yes, I am talking about “holiday” decorations. There. Now you all know where I stand on The War on Christmas (obviously on the evil side, waiting for Santa to go down on a melting polar ice cap- global warming is one of our most powerful weapons).
But back to holiday decorations. I freakin’ love holiday decorations. Especially the outdoor ones- the gaudier the better. I like ’em bright and loud, with no respect for thematic cohesion. Seriously, give me an inflatable Santa gazing lovingly at the Baby Jesus, while an animatronic Little Drummer Boy plays and Rudolph hangs out in an igloo. Have the whole thing lit by Diwali candles and a plastic menorah that blinks in time to “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.” I adore crap like that. I mean, I don’t want it on my lawn, but I will pull over and smile with child-like delight if I drive by it on someone else’s.
Some of my fondest memories involve holiday decorations. My grandpa was a District Chief on the Fire Department, and all the fire halls used to have a holiday decorating competition. On Christmas night, Pop would gather up me and my cousins and drive us all over the city so we could vote on the ones we thought were best. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of encountering one of those mixed North Pole/Bethlehem scenes while driving around a couple of Somali teenagers. One of the girls said to me, “Jen-A-fer, Jesus I know, but who is this man?” She was referring to Santa Claus, and I was happy to explain. Something must have gotten lost in transition, though, because Zahara didn’t understand until we drove by another tableau of Santa and his reindeer. Then, in a voice that let me know everything had clicked, she exclaimed, “OH! He has goats!” I let it go at that, because I had already learned how much Somalis love goats.
I digress. I just wanted to establish that I love holiday decorations before I gave you my opinion, which is this: Holiday decorations have a time (and a place too, but for my purpose, only the time is important). That time is from the week of Thanksgiving until the day after New Year’s. Personally, I put up the decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving and take them down around December 29th. My mom has hers down by the 26th. I’m cutting everyone else some slack, but they should be gone by now, people. The moment has passed. The holidays are over. Your lingering lights and half-inflated yard Frosty no longer fill us with joy. They are depressing, and January is depressing enough all on its own.
Do us all a favor and let go.