If you were reading me over the holidays last year, you probably recall a friendly little competition with Kelly, the overzealous neighbor across the street. She took so much pleasure in taunting me with her holiday display I started referring to her as Christmas Light Kelly. Gauntlets were thrown as we each tried to out-illuminate the other. In the end, CLK emerged the victor.
I blame it on her easy-to-climb roof. Getting up on ours requires loads of faith and nerves of steel, neither of which I possess.
Fine, I decided. CLK can have Christmas. I shall rule the second best holiday for decorating: Arbor Day!!
Err…Halloween. I shall rule Halloween.
And, well…rule it I did. Or we did, as it was a Team MarTar effort, inside and out.
Between the giant spider web, fog machine, and creepy haunted house music playing over a hidden speaker, we owned All Hallows’ Eve. Ha! Take that, CLK!
I’ve always gone a little overboard around the holidays. Clark Griswold, remember? But years spent in apartments and townhouses dampened my spirit. It wasn’t until we bought our house two years ago that I was once again able to unleash my inner madman.
This year was a nice start, but I’m already planning out next year’s decorations. Hint: they will be BIGGER and BETTER. Oh, the plans I have! I’ve already made a few purchases. Amazon is delivering a six-pack of giant spiders this week.
And no, that is not a typo.
But the thing is, it doesn’t just bring me joy: without fail, every single trick-or-treater on our doorstep commented on how much they enjoyed our Halloween display.
Most impressive of all is my wife’s transformation. When I first met Tara, she wasn’t very enthusiastic about holidays. Any of them. Many years, she never even bothered putting up a Christmas tree…and carved her first pumpkin in literal decades two years ago. Now, she works on intricately detailed jack-o-lantern carvings while I just kind of wing it old school.
And she was every bit as excited Sunday night showing off our display. I love her newfound enthusiasm for holiday excess!
I do sometimes wonder what the neighbors think of us. They traded in a pleasant old lady who mostly kept to herself for these liberal newcomers from out of state who take delight in scaring neighborhood children, add Native American murals to their retaining wall, and fill their yard with plastic flamingos.
These thoughts crossed my mind as I found myself transferring half a cord of firewood from our front yard to our backyard this morning. We’d had it delivered before the sun even came up and, well, I’m headed out of town tomorrow. Couldn’t very well let it sit in a pile in the front yard, so Tara and I got to work. She was dressed for the frigid 21° weather but I wore a puffer jacket, shorts, and flip-flops. My fingers and toes were half-frozen by the time I hit the shower.
I mean, at least I wasn’t standing at the curb wearing a bathrobe and aviator hat, guzzling a beer while emptying sewage down the storm drain because the shitter was full.
But it’s not a big leap to get there from here…