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Holiday lights, when is the proper time to decorate?

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

While recently listening to several radio stations, I’ve determined the debate rages on about whether or not Christmas decorations should be put up before Thanksgiving. On one side, callers say they love the Christmas spirit and can’t resist putting up decorations even before Thanksgiving. They justify this early decorative spirit by saying that the weather is nicer for putting up early and it shows their tremendous Christmas spirit. These folks should move next to me. I have neighbors that never take their decorations down so it doesn’t matter if it’s 40 below zero right before Christmas.

On the other side of the aisle are those who believe that it is sacred that no decoration should be put up before Thanksgiving least the Thanksgiving season be swept away by the early arrival of Christmas. These people follow the domino theory of holiday celebration. Basically, if we begin to put up decorations right before Thanksgiving, before long they will be put up prior to Halloween wiping it out, and so on and so forth until people put Christmas decorations out on Valentines day.

I really don’t care when you put up your Christmas decorations. Every time I attempt to create some wonderful festive display disaster strikes. For Halloween, the little 7-year-old hurricane boy talked me into buying a 6-foot-long blow up spider that glowed in the dark. The spiders head ominously moved side to side as his eyes glowed along with his tail. Unfortunately, after a day or two one of the bulbs blew out of his eye and instead of looking like a spider at night it looked like someone’s security light had collapsed on the yard and was now covered with a black blanket.

He was placed just outside the invisible electric fence so that Fathead, my Rottweiler mix, who is highly offended at being called a mix and insists that he is purebred probably traceable to the reign of King Henry VIII, couldn’t reach him. Well, Fathead was most interested in the illuminated spider. He would go to the very boundaries of the invisible fence, but he dare not cross having learned the horrors of crossing the fence after I put him in the back of the truck, forgot to take off his electric collar, and almost killed the dog before I realized what was going on.

Anyway, temptation finally got the best of Fathead and he managed to grab the extension cord hooked to the spider and drag him back within the confines of safety. Needless to say, the spider did not fair well in his battle with Fathead and the Halloween decoration festivity collapsed.

A few years ago I put out 2 lighted reindeer, one of which head moved side to side and tail switched. Both of these were placed securely near my front door, well within the confines of the invisible fence, and closely guarded by Fathead. Near the end of the Christmas season, I noticed the one with the moveable head was stolen. Fathead has yet to offer a plausible explanation as to how this reindeer was stolen under his watch but it is another sad example of failed decorations.

I have noticed most cities now put up their decorations well in advance of Thanksgiving. Most of the decorations now revolve around big giant wreaths being put on street lights and strapping garland around the poles. I miss the days when the cities would wrap lights all the way across the street and you could see all the colored lights from here to Columbus. As I recall all little towns did this until Jimmy Carter suggested this practice stop during the energy crisis because it wasted electricity. As far as I’m concerned, they should have strung Jimmy Carter up across the highway, wrapped him in Christmas lights and stuck a bulb in his mouth. But, I guess, that is not exactly in keeping with the Christmas spirit.

Either way, early or late, just come by my house, you’ll know you’re there. It’ll be the house with the Rottweiler running around with the blow up Santa in his mouth.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.