Every year about Christ-mastime, my sister and father morphed into people I didn’t know. Well, I guess you could also say people I didn’t want to know.
Normally reserved individuals, Christmas brought out the, let’s say, color in them. And by color I mean tiny colored light bulbs. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of tiny colored light bulbs. Thousands of light bulbs. OK, I don’t actually know how many light bulbs. Let’s suffice it to say too many light bulbs.
The more light bulbs the better was their motto. There were never enough light bulbs to suit them. They were possessed. They were crazy. They were embarrassing.
They turned our lovely home into a shiny example of Christmas excess. There wasn’t a nook or cranny that didn’t have a string of lights or other decoration latched onto it.
The two of them would be out there for hours. Days even. A disaster, err, I mean masterpiece such as theirs was not something to be rushed. They’d plot and they’d plan. Then they’d string and they’d run extension cords. Enough extension cords to reach the moon and back.
I remember the year they got the idea to make a parachuting Santa to hang from the flag pole. They drew plans, cut it out, painted it and then, of course, put lights on it. But this pièce de résistance was far too amazing for your normal string of lights. No, it needed a spotlight, they decided. So they got to work and voila, let there be a spotlight. They thought it was gorgeous. I thought it was entirely too large and hoped none of my friends came by.
And so it went for years. And every year the display would grow, as would their imaginations for the years ahead. And for years, ours was the slowest-moving street for miles around from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Cars would crawl past our house from dusk until late into the night.
The town had a Christmas decorating contest every year. Our house won nearly every year. There was a monetary prize which I’m sure didn’t even put a dent in the electric bill. The local newspaper even printed a picture of our house one year.
I now find myself on the other end of this scenario. It seems the Pharos-Tribune has an annual tradition of printing photos of the biggest and brightest Christmas light displays around town. The kind of light displays that cause passers-by to slow down traffic on the block. The kind that cause the power company to put in some overtime. The kind that cause embarrassment for at least one member of the family.
If you know of a Christmas light display that you think we should include this year, let me know. You can even tell us about your own house. I know my sister and father would.
Misty Knisely, managing editor, can be reached at 574-732-5155 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosMK