Christmas Home to Rival The Griswolds
This home in my Okemos neighborhood has always been decorated from head to toe each year. I'm pretty certain it could be seen from space. The last couple of years that we've lived in our neighborhood, the home's holiday explosion has brought so much fun and cheer to the Christmas season. Cars would line up on the street to take a peek, and it was always difficult to resist driving down the street on our way home, even though it was out of the way.
So imagine my dismay and sadness to be walking past their house shortly after the Thanksgiving weekend, expecting the work to be underway on this year's holiday masterpiece, and see a lone decoration on the lawn - a jack in the box-type of contraption.
On the front was taped a white poster with a message from the family, thanking neighbors for 12 wonderful years, and explaining that due to many reasons, they would not be doing their holiday display this year.
One of the reasons they mentioned in the note was safety.
It's understandable - I can't imagine all of the work that goes into setting those pieces up, on the roof no less. And what about that energy bill? It must be astronomical. Who knows, perhaps someone has fallen ill.
Maybe the family is sick of not being able to park in the driveway the entire month of December, and for that matter, not being able to park in the garage ever because that is where they store all of the decorations the other 11 months out of the year.
Yet for me, the thing about Christmas and this time of year is the idea of tradition, and memory, and consistency. When we decorated our tree Friday evening, my heart warmed with every ornament I unwrapped - ornaments I forgot about buying on sale in the days after Christmas. Ornaments from years ago.
It's about watching the same favorite holiday films throughout the month of December, leading up to Christmas Day (for us, it's all about The Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, and It's a Wonderful Life - we named our dog Zuzu, for goodness sake).
So the home in our neighborhood had become one of those consistencies, that delightful thing to look forward to, like cinnamon-filled desserts, red sweaters, and cozying up on a cold day with nowhere to go.
I hope that the family will be able to do their display next year or sometime in the future, at least. I hope that disgruntled Scroogey neighbors didn't complain about the intense light and crowded street.
Because a home that puts the Griswold's home to shame is something to be celebrated, even if you're a Grinch.