Friday, November 28, 2008

Santa's Road Kill

'Tis the season and I must confess, I'm a total goon for holiday decorating. I adore it, particularly, the outdoor lights. I think there that subconsciously, that is one big reason I married my husband. He's a big lighting guy, lights concerts, currently lighting director on tour with Smashing Pumpkins - an expert, he knows how to create the effects, do the wiring so that you only have one control yet it won't burn the house down. He unfortunately protests my desire for a major light show, one reminiscent of the planetarium shows we'd go to in high school on Friday nights that were set to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

Last year I saw the video of the house that was completely lit up and synchronized to a score with music from the greats, Bach, Beethoven, Van Halen... and more! And I got excited. I thought, how flipping awesome, this too will be me and I have the perfect person to help me! I would have a great mix, a little traditional, some old school, driving backbeat, maybe even a little Salt n ’Peppa in there – surely they did a Christmas album. I envisioned grid marks and plots and me on the roof with a tool belt and pencil in my mouth. I even considered what I'd wear when the news media came to interview me.

Yeah, dream on. My husband is really very good to me and will usually give me my way if I insist -- to a point. The 40,000 lights I estimated it would take to create my masterpiece were more then he could take. As I was told, "Honey, all I think about is the load out!" So the roof trim is out, so is the music and for the first time ever he did assist me and we have a very nice but moderate display of swags, side walk trim and a seven foot Elmo on a sled, riding down a path of lights that would make any kid in the snow envy. It looks really cute and I do feel a bit of pride when I see cars slowing down to admire our work.

But it's the daytime that gets to me. There seems to be a growing phenomenon that was never around when I was a child, in fact, not even ten years ago! It’s what I like to call, Santa's Road Kill. It's becoming so prevalent I'm waiting for the city to send crews out to "deal with the problem."

Yes, I admit, I do have my one, but it’s unique and my son was an Elmo fan. I will get rid of it as soon as I can figure out how to recreate the face using only my lights. A bit of a light bright application I’m thinking. So I am calling myself out too an offender for sure, but to be true to me, I still have plenty of other traditional strands too.

Unlike other types, Santa's Roadkill occurs in the daytime, and only this time of year. I think it's come about because people have become too damn lazy to do the work. Yes, we're a society of instant gratification, give me a pill to get thin, a patch to quit smoking, give me some nylon with a fan attached and I'm ready for Christmas. And I find it upsetting that people think they can get away with buying a giant blow up snow man or Santa Clause shove it on their front yard and go back to drinking their beer feeling very satisfied they have crated a beautiful and coveted holiday scape.

Oh, and then ones that have three, four, eight of these inflated freaks of the season! What are they thinking? There is no pride to be had, there's no admiration to be gained! What the hell? There was a time when giant blow up things were strictly for use in the privacy of your own bedroom or the occasional practical joke. What happened to those days?

Christmas lights are all about hundreds of extension cords, blown fuses, tangled stands of lights. It's about standing out in the cold and rain at 10:00 at night trying to find the one damn light that caused the entire strand to go out. It's about cursing and yelling, almost falling off roofs and the thrill of the thousand watt jolt from sticking your little finger into an empty bulb socket, because you forgot it was plugged in.

That's what Christmas lights are all about... not these stupid nylon inflatable gimmicks when daylight hits, lay in a lump as if they were discarded lawn and leaf bags, looking like they've lost a war with the bb gun brigade or a bit like Santa's road kill.

No comments: