Home > Uncategorized > Deck the Halls! (and the roof, the porch and the sidewalk…)

Deck the Halls! (and the roof, the porch and the sidewalk…)

It’s that delightful time of year when we all crawl into our attics and basements and pull out long and tangled strings of Christmas lights to hang outside.  If you’re like me, you also find boxes and boxes of lights that you bought last year on December 26 (and say to yourself with glee, I forgot I bought so MUCH!).

 My family (including my dad, who has a ginormous ladder and no apparent fear of heights whatsoever) spent the weekend decorating for the holiday.  It was an exhausting and trying weekend, but now that it’s over, I’m pleased to announce that my husband and I are still happily married, no children have been harmed and my dad failed in his attempts to get my nine-year-old to climb to the roof behind my back.  And here’s our final result:  (insert oooohs and aaaaaahs here, please)

Merry Christmas, Power Company!

We haven’t been doing this for too many years, and I know we’re still light years (haha, LIGHT years, get it?) from the folks on the Extreme Christmas Lights show on TV, but last night one of my neighbors stepped outside and exclaimed, “Oh my God!” so I think we’re making progress.

 So, without further ado, I present to you my guidelines for Christmas decorations that are sure to cause traffic jams on your street.

  •  No white lights allowed – unless they are paired recklessly with multi-colored lights. White lights are classy and refined.  That is not what we’re going for here.
  •  Anything goes except baby Jesus.  Do not mock Baby Jesus.  Even if your intentions are pure, you are sure to be misunderstood by someone who might be willing to set your house on fire.
  •  If one string of lights is good, two (or five) are better.  Feel free to double up where ever possible.  Mixing types of lights is also encouraged.
  •  No one has any business walking on your grass.  You should seize the opportunity to reinforce that rule with booby traps.  On the flip side, keep your walkways scrupulously clear, lest you make a permanent enemy of your mail carrier.
  • Something must be blinking and something else must be static.  Bonus points if these two conditions are met on the same string of lights
  • Choose your decorating team carefully.  There will be harsh words, frustration and broken promises.  You’re going to need them again next year, so if they can’t take it, put them in charge of making coffee.
  • You do not need fancy tools.  If you have a staple gun, a roll of duct tape and a baggie of mismatched light bulbs, you’re all set.
  • If you have not risked injury or death while putting up your lights, then you’re doing it wrong.
  • You will need to bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to your neighbors in apology.
  • If you have lights left over, you’re not done.


Whether your holiday decor is understated and white-lighted or a jumbled train wreck of lights, may you all feel the overwhelming and sometimes obnoxious joy of the holiday season in your hearts.  Seasons Greetings!

  1. Barb Strimple
    December 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I think you missed your calling Shellie as your mom I have always told you what a wonderful writer you were and this one proves it I haven’t laughed so hard. Great job kiddo!

  1. April 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

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