Now that we are past Thanksgiving, our neighborhood has gone full bore into holiday mode. The lights that were going up at the beginning of November were just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Since that time, more homes have had lights professionally and tastefully installed. Other homes have also been decked out by hand by well meaning homeowners. Inflatables have sprouted up in yards like dandelions in the summer. Lights are strung across back fences between neighboring houses. On one block, it’s clear that the homeowners consulted with each other because each house on the street has the same light-up snowman, so as you drive the street it seems you’re in the midst of a snowman parade. I can’t decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, it’s lovely to see people making the most of the season and taking pride in their homes. On the other hand, however, it’s one big festival of keeping up with the Joneses.
Our block has been on the low-key side of things thus far. There are thirteen homes on our street, and a little less than half have some sort of exterior illumination and only one of those was installed professionally. I have to admit, though, that after driving through the neighborhood tonight I started thinking that we need to up our game, at least a little from the one lit tree we have in our yard and the light-up corgi on our porch. It’s hard not to feel the siren’s song of oneupsmanship. It’s hard not to feel like we’re currently getting a D in Suburban Life.
I suspected when we bought into this neighborhood that these type of displays should be expected around the holidays but, damn, I seriously underestimated the collective decorative insanity of upper middle class white households. This year, we will likely forego the requisite holiday explosion, but we’re making plans for next year. Don’t worry, though. We will not be lighting up the night quite like these folks.