In the middle of a recession, it’s not easy to keep up with the Holiday Decoration Joneses. Every year my suburban neighborhood becomes a festival of lights, with each neighbor trying to out-do the other with their own, personal version of Oglebay.
It was hard to figure out what to do this year because there’s not much left over from last year. An electrical surge destroyed all of my Christmas lights.
I could not believe how many of my neighbors teased me last year for not having decorations on my house. I explained to them that it wasn’t a matter of being lazy. It was a matter of paying my bills or purchasing Christmas lights, and Christmas lights didn’t make the cut. Apparently I’m the only one in the neighborhood affected by the economic downturn.
This answer didn’t seem to please them. Most folks living in a nice, suburban community don’t like to talk about their personal financial situations. Or rather, they don’t like hearing about their neighbors going broke. Hence, the recent housing crisis. But I digress.
This year I wanted to show my Christmas spirit while still being practical. So I decided to make my own Christmas decorations. I know, how early`90s Martha Stewart of me. Whatevs.
We have this giant, blue-spruce tree in the corner of our yard. It’s just standing there, not doing anything but looking giant. One day I couldn’t help but notice that the bottom layer of branches all were dragging on the grass. This gave me the inspiration for my decorations.
I figured if I removed the entire bottom-layer of branches then I would have more than enough greenery to create garland to surround my front door and mailbox.
I went down to my garage, rummaged through my Pap’s old tools, found his trusty saw and headed out to the blue-spruce. Note: I should have worn gloves. And long sleeves. And pants.
It was a pretty hard job, and I did feel guilty cutting into this beautiful, living creature. But gosh darnit, even if I can’t totally keep pace with the Holiday Joneses, I can do what I can do. Do you understand the competitive pressure we face out here in the 'burbs?!!!
After hacking off more than 25 branches, I was finally able to begin the process of attaching them to both the house and mailbox. This was not as easy as it may seem.
This process required a hammer, a staple gun, a ladder, nails, hooks, and more than 100 yards of wire. It also required patience, tolerance for wind burn and vertigo medicine for the spruce was bothering my allergies and making me dizzy, which is always fun while you’re standing on a ladder.
Regardless, four hours later I had the coolest garland I have ever seen around a door frame or mailbox. It’s unique. And it’s huge. It’s much bigger than the garland you can buy in stores or at the Strip district.
Plus, my neighbors have been praising me and giving me better reviews than when I did use store-bought lights. Huzzah!
Bonesso - 1
Consumerism – 0
If you want to keep up with the Holiday Joneses you don’t necessarily need money. You just need an inventive streak of creativity. And of course, you’ve got to get your Holiday Jones on!