Ron, Andrea and I came home last night from the season's first performance of The Glory of Christmas (our new daughter-in-law ushers for it.....freebie tickets!) , and there they were. Glowing red, green, blue and white. Twinkling, blinking, shining alone on the street. Brilliant in the dark night.
Allen's a quiet, nice enough guy, but he's a Christmas light show-off. He's home all day, tinkering on cars, electronic hobbies and home maintenance stuff. He's retired due to a vague permanent disability. His Christmas lights are his claim to fame. His special offering to the world. His annual source of compliments.
He doesn't put up lots of lights, but he cleverly programs them to nightly change colors and patterns. Some nights they blink, some nights not. Some nights they beam in solid colors, some nights in intricate patterns. Even his December programming schedule is creative and unpredictable. One-time visitors to our street wouldn't notice his lights. They don't stand out among our tract home displays, unless you visit here regularly. The novelty is that they change.
For the last few years, every home on our side of the street puts up Christmas lights. We take pride that the west siders share a civic spirit of Christmas, whether Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, EVFreers, Friends, or whatever. We agree on festive lights, cheery holiday spirit and exchanges of small gifts.
Allen violated the unspoken rule, though. We usually all put our lights up over Thanksgiving weekend. Embarrassed stragglers who travelled over the turkey holiday take work off early the next week to install their holiday house lights.
But Allen has upped the ante. He's raised the bar for Christmas lights. Now we're the stragglers!
Perhaps a Survivor-like neighborhood tribal council is in order to bring him back in line. :>)