Don’t you just love this time of year that maxes out credit cards and unites families to revisit arguments from the year before? And how better to exhibit this joy than redecorating your house with cheap junk made with sweat labor from Asia.
When I was working for a new home builder as a Warranty Manager I had the pleasure of knowing an elderly couple who for them, Christmas was the ultimate holiday and they showed it by elaborate displays of Christmas paraphernalia that would make the shops on Rodeo Drive jealous.
The couple, Merry and Dave – that’s right, even the wife’s name reflected their love for the holiday – owned a home in Frisco, Texas and utilized an entire bedroom and its walk-in closet to store all of their ornaments, tree, lights and statues of Kris Kringle, angels, elves and reindeer. If there was any part of the Christmas tree showing, it was an oversight that was quickly corrected with another ornament of the Magi or a sled. It was an event that took Dave an entire month to assemble and hang, and another to take it all down and store away until next year. It was literally wall-to-wall Christmas ornamentations.
Dave and Merry are of course the exception to such decorative displays. Most I think who take the time to dress up their home, inside and out, are not quite as ambitious. I’d like to think my wife and I fall into that category. My wife, Roseann, works on the inside …
… and I tackle the outside for the most part, though she is also a big contributor to the low-hanging decorations like the lights on entry walk and the garden wall at the front of the house.
And here’s what the finished product looks like.
Okay, so maybe we do tend to exert ourselves a bit but Clark & Ellen Griswold we’re not.
Of course most people don’t bother to decorate at all. Let’s face it. The Christmas spirit for many entails lighting themselves up with plenty of yuletide eggnog or a bourbon-laced hot toddy rather than lighting up their home.
But what about those half-hearted efforts we often see by some who have at least thought about participating but just didn’t see themselves taking it too far. You know the type. A Christmas wreath on the front door. One red and one green flood light in the driveway light fixture anchored on the exterior wall. Or the single string of lights around the front door frame.
These are men and women you might think are cheap or simply lazy but I like to see them as people with minimalist tendencies. They drive the most economic version of transportation with only an AM radio, adjusting their own side mirrors and roll down their own windows. They have basic cable or may even get their reception from an outside antenna. And watering the lawn during the summer is required only when the grass starts showing shades of yellow. You may want to snobbishly chortle at such people but at least they can make paychecks meet and even sneak a little away in a hidden nest egg so they can take that weekend summer trip to Pensacola or Bossier City, Louisiana.
So, in celebration of the Christmas minimalist, let me display a few of their decorative efforts I have observed on my daily walk with my dog Millie in tow here in my hometown. Click on each pic to get a better view
Here are a few of the typical minimalist decorations with a door wreath. As the first photo shows, double doors means double wreaths along with a reminder of the July 4th holiday off to the side. The red, white, blue and green of Christmas is a cherished tradition for some apparently.
Most Christmas minimalist tend to stay close to the porch. The first one reflects this while the second ventured out to the yard and decorated their walkway lamp post
This one seems more like a cop-out rather than explaining why they didn’t decorate their yard with nothing more than a realtor’s yard sign. Jesus’ dad lights up the sky with a heavenly host of angels and they can’t run a string or two of lights?
Nothing says Xmas like an inflatable Santa. It took more effort to wrap the boxes at his feet than it did to blow him up.
Not only did this person not take time to decorate for Xmas, they took an equal amount of time to remove their Halloween decoration.
This one I threw in as a bonus. It has nothing to do with Xmas but does indicate that if people with dogs are passing by and their pet wants to leave a little gift on their yard, please be sure to tote it off in the gift wrapping they so generously supply here. Might Santa have need for it should Donner or Blitzen drop a loaf while visiting?
But none that I have seen here in Denton beats this clever effort by what has to be the greatest Christmas minimalist alive today.
Of course what really matters is that we let the tension from work subside and allow ourselves to be transformed for a brief period as the colder weather sets in and songs of Noel are playing on the radio 24-7.
Christmas takes on some different meanings for many people but it has something we all share. Outside of the negative atmosphere generated by the “war on Xmas” crowd and the crass commercialism that begins the day before Halloween, most of us are transferred back in time when, as children, a two-weeks break from school was thought to be the greatest gift of all and the sense that something really magical was transpiring as Christmas day approached, making us truly glad to be alive.
Merry Christmas Everyone