Monday, November 28, 2005

Is Everyone's 'Hood Like This?

As we were returning from our little 'visit' over the Thanksgiving holiday, we pulled into our subdivision and were struck with visions of sugar plum fairies and reindeer and all that other crap!

I swear to God, more than half the houses are ALREADY DECORATED! The freaking pressure is on! I think the neighbors actually have a race to see who can get their houses lit up before everyone else, and I also think all the neighbors on my street said, "Okay, Manic and her family are gone. Let's really screw with them and have all our decorations, lights, white sleighs and glowing reindeers, tinseled trees and icicle rooftops all done before they get back."

And some were telling me they have like four or five or even six trees to put up or have already put them up. Trees for the kids in each of their rooms! Trees for the bathrooms! A tree for the basement! The foyer! Heck, I even think one neighbor has a tree in their hallway closet just so those putting away their coats can get festive!

And what am I doing? Well, I'm fretting that I'm not going to get everything done in time! I am trying to dig out of the laundry mess, and purge old toys and old school papers, and cluttered cabinets and closets just to make sure there is space for all the new crap that will be making its way into our home in the next four weeks. It's a never-ending process. Get stuff, stick it in a closet for a year, open closet, realize that has been unused in closet for a year and know that more stuff is on its way, throw out stuff, wait for new stuff to get here so the whole thing can start all over again.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a scroogy person at all. It's just so commercialized and hyped and the leftovers from Thanksgiving aren't even all gone yet.

But maybe, just maybe, all these neighbors are getting me into the spirit of the season and I'm freaking out so I can be right along side them, ringing jingly bells, baking cookies, wrapping gifts I hope everyone will like (of course, I think I have to buy them first!), drinking festive concoctions that warm the insides, singing Christmas carols around the table (which Diva aka BitchDoll suggested we do tonight), finding the perfect family card to send to friends and family, and then, after it's all said and done, recovering from the enormity of it all and realizing it's all just really about a teeny little baby left in a manger while some smart dudes on camels followed some bright shining star to honor the little guy they would be calling King.

(What the hell is Frankencense anyway, and why was it such a hot commodity back then, when it can be purchased for seven bucks a quarter pound?)

Tune in later this week when I continue my homage to this glorious overly-commercialized, yet somewhat meaningful and spectacular holiday event that is beginning to cloud my already-post-Thanksgiving-pre-holiday-I'm-scared-to-go-shopping brain!

Cheers!

9 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow!
I bet you put a lot of energy into that post huh?
I feel the same way about the yard decorations. I mean, hell! I am still cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner!!!!
Oh yeah. And I totally haven't even begun to Christmas shop yet. I do not understand the whole, "I already have my shopping done" mentality.
I wish I could plan ahead like that.....

cubmommy said...

I agree with you abut the commerialization of the holiday. It really puts the pressure on you to do all this stuff. I haven't even gone shopping yet. I want to buy all this stuff for the boys but just can not afford it. So then I feel bad because the older one gets want the holiday is about and I don't want him disappointed.

UGH, why can't it be simple.

Also why does the holiday season bring out the worst in people. Isn't the season about love and giving?

Good luck with the a holiday season!

J Holden said...

steph - the tree is up, the decorations are on it, the inside of the house is decorated

all that's left is to finish up on the outside - and it's raining right now so i can't do it

get your butt in gear!!

oh, and thanks for the wholly inappropriate WV the other day - totally shocked me into laughing when i didn't really want to laugh

Anonymous said...

We have neighbors, 3 doors down that have had their yard filled with 3-foot plastic, light up Christmas decorations since the beginning of the month. They also have family that lives on the other side of the street with similar decorations…including a huge inflatable Homer Simpson dressed as Santa with an equally huge Bart next to him on top of a stack of presents. It sure is attractive, NOT really. Not to mention they have been up for 4 and a half weeks with 4 more left to go.

We also have other neighbors that had icicle lights up and turned on every night over the summer and haven't had them on since…go figure.

Joel said...

People never decorated in my neighborhoods growing up (we lived in a lot of neighborhoods). But we always had a great christmas without all the lights outside. And every year we'd go driving through the rich neighborhoods so we could "ooh" and "ahh" at their fancy lights, crawling up their ivory white pillars like candy cane stripes.

In my house, christmas was never about competing with your neighbors or trying to make sure you got your in-laws the perfect gift. My parents concentrated on family - our family. We had cocoa, and sang songs, and for 14 days before christmas had evening holiday activities to countdown the days to christmas. It was all about having fun, giving gifts, and that excitement when mom and dad woke you up to open presents. the joy when we'd see the stockings lined up on the couch, filled with goodies, and wondering, "which one is mine?" For a kid, that is fun.

We never had family over for christmas. We never went to anyone else's house. Only the people who lived under that roof all year were allowed to experience that christmas. And I think that, as a result, there was much less stress for everyone, and a lot more fun.

Faded Quacks eXit Like Played-out Little Kittens.

Manic Mom said...

Kelly--I tried a little shopping today, felt successful at having bought a $5 personalized ornament. Of course, I purchased two things for myself!

Anon--is this Lisa from PA? I am thinking it is you!

Cub Mommy--I know what you mean!

Joel, your Christmas memories sound amazing, but I am at a loss for one part: Your parents had to wake YOU on Christmas morning! What the???

J Holden--I haven't been keeping up with your blog, but are you already back home from your European jaunt? Welcome back. Couldn't resist the WV!

Joel said...

Manic - that was a rule in our house. My parents would put us to bed on xmas eve, then wrap all the presents they got us, stuff the stockings, blah blah blah, then in the morning we were not allowed to get up until they called us, which was agonizing, yet fun. Everyone would be awake, just lying there as my parents trounced through the house (we could always hear them walking up and down the hall), and then finally, my dad would open the door and say, "get up, it's christmas!" And we'd all get up, run out to the living room, gasp at all the presents under the tree, and then find a seat and wait for everyone to get settled so my parents could hand out the stockings. We all did stockings, then someone would hand out aTl the presents and we'd open them. then my mom would cook scrambled eggs with ham, and my parents would go to sleep while we played with all our goodies.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure my parents had way more fun on christmas morning than we ever did.

Yo-yos Often Quickly Quit, Lying Ontop Pillows Lightly.

Anonymous said...

Nope - not Lisa from PA. It's Melanie from CT

domestic_valerie said...

I live in a Neighborhood (note the capital N) with way to much holiday spirit. I am in the middle of finals crunch, I haven't cleaned my house in weeks, my husband is forced to scrounge for dinner because I am writing papers all night....and the neighborhood "group" sends out a letter inviting us to go and decorate the street lamps the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Riiiight.

If I even have a tree by Christmas, I will consider myself well spirited! Oh well...I do know for a fact that I bake the best Christmas cookies around here, and isn't that what really matters? ;)

(word verification: kissing santa is very zany)