It's fun wandering around the neighborhood seeing all the holiday lights. There's the anal neighbor up the street who probably uses a computer program to make the swags dip in matching arcs along his rooftop and twist around his railings in perfectly matched rows. There's the family who has every inflatable Christmas decoration ever made propped on their lawn. (And I mean EVERY one. Santa and the reindeers. Snap Krackle and Pop in Christmas hats. Scooby in a red scarf. Christmas Spongebob. And, in the center of it all, the Creche, looked adoringly upon by all three wise men, their camels and various assorted farm animals.) And I love how families who celebrate other holidays at this time of year are getting in on the fun. Blue lights, for instance, are a nice addition to all the red and green, I think.
Our house has lights up. They are not, um, perfect. They loop over the railing in arcs of various lengths, reflecting the amount of lights someone felt like swinging over that particular portion. They end a little short of the end of the railing. There's a bright gob, like a faux north star, in the middle of a small potted palm because that's where that hopelessly tangled strand got dumped this year. And I love it that way. It's fun and er, whimsical.
I suppose a psychologist would have a field day making spot analyses of people's personalities. I figure I'm as qualified as anyone to make specious judgments about people. I wonder if you can link writing style to Christmas light display. I mean, if you're a spontaneous writer, does that mean you're more likely to be a spontaneous decoration putter-upper? Does it mean you make drop cookies instead of the rolled, cookie-cuttered and frosted kind? Do you ignore what's on people's lists and get them what appeals to you as you go shopping? Do romance novelists have fancier displays than non-fiction writers?
Well, based on how I fit into the above examples, probably not. I'm more of a planner, writing-wise, but I like unplanned decorations, I can't make a rolled cookie to save my life and I follow people's lists. The most no-nonsense person in our house is also the most whimsical when it comes to decorations. Even so, it's fun to walk by the other houses and speculate, isn't it?
Liz Jasper is the award-winning author of cozy vampire mysteries Underdead and Underdead In Denial. You can read excerpt at her website www.lizjasper.com.