Friday, December 5, 2014

In Search of Christmas Spirit - Day 4

Day 4:  Exterior Illumination

Our neighbors have had their Christmas lights out for weeks.  A cheery snowman, light wrapped shrubs, the full monty.  And while I enjoy the juxtaposition of fall leaf garland and frost bitten mums against the snowy ground at our house (honestly, if we hadn't had company for Thanksgiving, the sagging jack-o-lanterns would probably still be on the step too), today I decided to tackle exterior illumination.

Normally I would wait for my husband to help (read:  do) this job, but we have a very busy weekend ahead of us:  three hockey games, day long drama rehearsals, a party -- you get the idea.  So when my boys got home from school this afternoon, I announced that it was time to decorate the outside of the house.  My announcement, sadly, was met with a resounding silence.  Not to be deterred, I let my boys march off to their X-Box while I headed out into the cold.

2 1/2 hours later I'm sitting at the computer, job half done, drowning my sorrows in a glass of wine.

My undertaking seemed to go pretty well at first.  I hauled the bin of Christmas lights and faux pine garland up from the basement, dragged the extension ladder out from under the deck and got started.  After struggling with the weight of the ladder like a cartoon character, I managed to lean it up against the garage gutters and climbed up.  But then I couldn't stop laughing because everything reminded me of Clark Griswold decorating his house in Christmas Vacation -- right down to the sound of the ladder.  So silly and so embarrassing to be laughing out loud when you are alone.  Anywho...

After a slow start, I worked my way down the length of the garage, managing to stay on the ladder despite the giggling.  At some point my daughter arrived home and, unlike my boys, she was more than happy to spot me at the slippery corner of the garage.  Girl power!

Then it was on to the doors.  This portion of the exterior illumination required a step ladder, hammer, and nails.  But I managed to decorate the breezeway in record time -- dead mums out, wreath in.  Done.

I moved on to the front door feeling a little cocky, never a good idea, and was stopped in my tracks by a strand of lights that was only half lit.  ARGH!  What is it about Christmas lights!?  Why can they not work from year to year!?  I spent 15 minutes checking all the bulbs (channeling Rusty, another Christmas Vacation reference if you're unclear), I spent another 15 minutes replacing both impossibly tiny fuses (has anyone ever, in the history of the world, fixed a strand of lights by replacing the fuse), I howled at the moon (or at least to where the moon should be, it's cloudy tonight), but no, half of the lights, so beautifully entwined with the lovely pine garland, refused to light.

My resolve wavered, but I decided to move on to the lamp post.  I trudged back down to the basement in search of the lights/garland that we usually wrap around the lamp post, but after another 15 futile minutes of searching, I conceded defeat.  "I think we lost a box of Christmas decorations," I told my youngest who had finally come up for air from playing FIFA 15 and was running by stick-handling a tennis ball.  His helpful response:  "Maybe it's not lost; maybe you just can't find it."

So that's it.  Clearly the exterior illumination project will not be completed in full tonight.  But somehow, now that I've reached the bottom of my glass of wine, I'm feeling fine about it.  Here's a picture of the decorated garage.  Christmas spirit?  not so much...


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