Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy (Early) Holidays

The unwritten code of the block I live on is that 1) Every house must be decorated for every major holiday and some minor holidays and 2) One must decorate promptly and with enthusiasm.

Newcomers get some slack but there comes a point when it is assumed that you are a snob—or worse, a snotty transplant from Manhattan—if you do not follow the code.

The residents of my building always attempted to decorate with restraint. We were neither old-timers nor newcomers. We were in-betweeners, going along with the joke but unable to ignore the natural inclination towards a bit of taste. The rest of the block would be decked out in life-size scarecrows and spray-on cobwebs for Halloween. We'd have a bale of hay and a pumpkin.

I'm the only one of the in-betweeners left, and the newcomers can't be bothered. Yesterday I tossed out the two pumpkins, gourd, and dried corn that I'd had out for Halloween and Thanksgiving, and went to find the plug-in Christmas candles. One goes in each bay window, on a timer from 6 to 11.

The horror! The Christmas candles are missing.

But I just saw them last week. I'd put them somewhere special... but where?

Uh-oh. I must have packed them deep in a box and put them in my garage. Well, that's not very useful.

I went over to ShopRite and got a few 18-foot fake garlands and wrapped them around the outside railings. It's pretty lame. I need something with lights.

But Ax says I get a pass since I'm moving in two weeks.

I hope I find the candles anyway.


susan said...

I highly recommend the dollar stores on Newark Ave for cheap holiday decorations. The strings of lights eventually burn out (faster than department store lights) but you've only paid a dollar or two, so it's less painful. The one closest to the Grove Street PATH station generally has the best selection. I use those xmas tree lights year 'round in my apartment...

Marie Javins said...

Oh, great idea! And so old-school JC too...

Marie Javins said...

wow, I have so much work to do that I think I won't even get around to worrying about the candles.

Amanda Castleman said...

Yeah, don't bother.

Give those nouveau poseurs in your building a preview of the SHAME they will encounter once you're gone.

Not that they'd notice, mind... Ax.

PS: I live in a writer's garrett atop a two-storey Craftsmen in Seattle. My downstairs neighbor decorates for the hols, but in a really slapdash fashion.

"S," I told her. "We have a ghosty foot mat and an enamel turkey out front. I'm thinking, 'pick a holiday and run with it'."

"The ornamental cabbages can stay, right?" she asked.

"Only if I can snack on them."

Marie Javins said...

I found them. 12/14. They were right where I'd left them. The Christmas candles, I mean.