Merry Christmas! I love saying that. I kind of feel a little edgy when I say it – so many folks these days stick to Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings. I love Christmas, I do. Each year at Christmas I relive my (minor but self important) part in the 5th grade Christmas play (we could still call it a Christmas play in 1977) and belt out “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” in the shower and make the kids watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with me. I love to create funny Christmas cards and buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family. But here’s what I don’t really love: the throngs of people who drive up and down my street and throughout my neighborhood looking at Christmas light displays.
Call me Scrooge. The homes on my street in Highland Park are, for the most part, original 1927-ish Tudors that have been updated. Our lots aren’t wide or deep and our street is narrow. So, imagine a scene in which four vehicles are parked on one side of the street, another seven are parked along the other, and residential traffic is trying to pass through. Then let’s add to this little Christmas kaleidoscope, a horse-drawn carriage with people sipping Starbuck’s hot chocolate and sweating their Thanksgiving paunches off. Just for fun throw in a Dan Dipert super bus inching down the street right behind it. Then, for a really neat visual image, picture me, in white and blue polka dot flannel pajamas and Uggs, taking my anxiety-riddled Golden Retriever out for a tinkle. (more…)