There is an entire industry, here in Houston, of companies that will come and install your Christmas decorations for you, the lights outside and, in some cases, the tree(s) and other decorations inside your house.
The houses these companies do are the gargantuan houses – some of them resembling, in size and style, municipal courthouses – surrounded, during the holidays, by 40-foot oak trees entirely wrapped from root to twig-tip with thousands upon thousands of tiny white lights.
I saw one that had two lit-up, glittering herald angels, 8 feet tall, flanking its front doors. A little self-aggrandizing, no?
Many of these big houses have lights strung in tight straight lines along their eaves, on all sides. This doesn’t say, “Peace on Earth” to me. It says, “Look how freaking big my house is!”
You should always look at your decorations from
all sight-lines, so a dirty-minded passersby
doesn't snap a picture with her phone.
I’m sorry. That just leaves me cold.
This is completely different from the hobbyists who get really into decorating their houses for the holiday, so into it they end up on the evening news. You know the ones: the owner covers every surface in lights and decorations and animatronic dolls and rigs up a system that plays tinny Christmas carols. Not my thing, but admirable in its way.
OK, so the do-it-yourself job may not always turn out “perfect.”
But it is always charming.
Here is an old bungalow in my new neighborhood, decorated with oversized bulbs that allude to the old days. The owner hung those lights herself.
Perhaps this house doesn’t have 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, but it looks so homey and snug, like the house on a Christmas card.
I know where I would rather live.