Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Suddenly It's Christmas

A neighbour has put their Christmas lights up already. It seems so early. As Loudon says (in my post below), Suddenly It’s Christmas. Though, to be fair, we Americans think of the Friday after Thanksgiving as officially heralding in the Christmas season, and that was last Friday, so I suppose everything is in order even here in the UK.

Maybe what worries me is that these lights are not lovely, twinkling white lights around an outside tree, giving it a new joyful character that we can all observe, turning us into excited children as we’re touched by a nostalgic appreciation of anything resembling a brightly lit Christmas tree and the air of anticipation that brings, and happily demonstrating that someone had sufficient holiday spirit to go to such trouble.

No, these are not those type of lights. These are all-singing (nearly), all-dancing, irritatingly constantly flashing multicoloured lights that leap from side to side on what is meant to depict some image I can’t make out, though I suspect it’s not the nativity scene. It is distracting, but at least I can close my curtains and it goes away. For the neighbours who live there, with that on the window, sitting in their living room must be like living in one of those cheap rooms on the wrong side of town in a film noir sleuth movie, with a red neon sign flashing just outside the window and giving the whole room that tint…and taint.

Maybe the real problem, the reason I cannot embrace these lights and I find words like ‘tacky’ and ‘tawdry’ cruelly popping into my head, is that I’ve just not faced up to the fact that December is next week. Seriously, it really is. Check the calendar; I’m telling the truth. In fact, now that I look at the calendar, I realise that this time next month, Christmas will be over; it's that soon. Oh dear. Best go back to ignoring it all really; it’s the only way to cope. Bah humbug.


FlipC said...

As has often been said - you know you're getting older when you look around and exclaim "They're not getting ready for Christmas already are they, it's not even Hallowe'en!"

As for turning your house into a paean to light, I always used to like the fact that we as a country didn't follow that American trend; way too tacky and gauche. Decorate the streets certainly, but turn your own house into an exhibition dear me no.

Brain Tracer said...

Flipc, a million apologies in that your comment for some reason never appeared until I changed PCs ages later.

I never really realised that the tacky light worshipping was an American trend, though I should have guessed (although GMTV does manage to find sorrowful exceptions over here). As a child on our drive to the airport to fly to our grandparents at Christmas, we and most other travellers would detour to see this notorious horrid house that must have spent the GNP of a third world country lighting its awful snowmen, reindeer and Santas--not to mention pink flamingoes (of course)--on its lawn as well as a trillion lights all around the house. Even as a child, it made me cringe and ponder the motivation behind it. By contrast, I adored our tradition of driving through the car parks of Longwood Gardens (kinda a mini-Kew) to observe their subtly and tastefully outdoor trees decorated with lights at Christmastime. That's the way to do it on either side of the pond.

FlipC said...

I wasn't sure if I'd simply offended you :-)

It may be a bit unfair of me to blame the USA I'm sure if ultra-cheap outdoor lights were more easily available here earlier on then at night Britain would have been visible from the Moon every Christmas.

Admittedly some of the displays are for 'charidee' though I wonder why they just don't donate the savings they'd have made on electricity by not having the lights up instead.