Since we have a new house that doesn't suck and drain the spirit from us all, and since it sits up on a hill overlooking a fairly busy road, and we've already had a couple of parties for which to prepare, we have decorated pretty profusely (for us) for the holidays.
We had the lights up in the windows by Thanksgiving weekend and have been adding steadily since: the tree is up and decorated, there's a festive little Alpine village we hand-painted and set amidst a small sea of cotton (looks more like clouds than snow), rope lights coiling up the main stairway, various seasonal figurines scattered hither and yon, red and green spotlights on the house, etc. It's all very jolly and addictive: you want to keep adding to the tableau because the fun is in the decorating, the result is really just a byproduct of the action.
I also now understand the impulse to start early because it gives you more time to indulge in the action and marvel at the results of that action. Add to that ABC Family Channel's "25 Days of Christmas" programming schedule and you've got flipping Christmas cheer for about five weeks: close to 10% of the year! And having a 3 year-old jumping up and down about all this when she isn't watching The Wizard of Oz is added incentive to indulge in holiday madness.
But at least we're not like these people:
- ''I am a Christmas tree junkie,'' declares Rebecca Eckard, 27, a graphic designer and mother of two in Hickory, N.C., who puts up four trees every year. ''I love decorating each one in my collection because of its meaning and its history,'' especially a vintage 1960s 4-foot aluminum tree that was a gift from a co-worker. This tree is a ''constant Christmas mortification'' to her husband, she giggles.
Barb Hoatson, 55, a grandmother in Sutherland, Neb., says she wants a tree ''for each special remembrance in my life,'' which means putting up a half-dozen, including one in memory of her family's recently departed Scottish terrier, J.J. ''We can laugh in remembrance of how she had to touch each ornament with her nose to check it out. If we try real hard, we'll probably see her still,'' Hoatson says.