Welp, another Christmas has come and gone for the Butler clan. This is the first year we were by ourselves. We weren’t visiting family out of town nor did we have any family here visiting with us. My wife decided she would make a nice dinner for us, so me and the boys went to Costco during the weekend to pick up Christmas style food like roast, pumpkin mix, and sweet potatoes.
We thought about a Christmas Eve dinner, but last minute shopping and running around all day prevented my wife from doing any serious cooking, so we moved it to Christmas day. My dear sweetheart labored all day making a pie, wrapping green beans in bacon, mashing potatoes and boiling yams. And bless her heart, due to a miscalculation on roast cooking time, our 6 pm dinner time was pushed back to 7:45 or so. I think we fed our kids, who were going stir crazy with hunger by this time, and then sent them immediately to bed afterwards.
We live in one of those communities filled, for the most part, with White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant Republicans, that during Christmas time, they go nuts with the decorations. So much so that entire neighborhoods join together to decorate their entire block. Icicle lights strung across the road from house to house, gigantic, over-sized Santa Clauses shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho” from atop the roofs of homes, and in some instances, real snow makers blowing faux snow.
Because of this hyper indulgence in all things festive, on Friday before Christmas, we all went looking at lights. We saw a bunch, but there was one neighborhood that topped everything we saw. It was sort of a cul-de-sac of 40 or so homes who had joined together to turn their otherwise bland looking street into a virtual winter wonder land. Some folks would say tacky, but honestly, you have to step back and admire the effort they put into this. Additionally, the thought of doing something with your neighbors, who are for the most part “strangers” during the rest of the year, is certainly delightful. There were so many people driving through, it took us at least 20 minutes to tour the route. Folks were handing out candy canes and one family was performing live Christmas carols on the keyboard-karaoke.
I was so enthralled by the display I wanted to come back and take pictures, so while my wife finished up the Christmas dinner, I loaded up the boys and drove back so we could walk around.
Here’s some of the pictures I took.
Again, there were about forty houses involved in this massive display, each one with as much lighting as seen in these pictures.
There was one exception.
Among all the brilliant lights and cheerful candy cane giving homeowners, there was a noticeable black hole:
When we drove through the neighborhood the first time we saw this house and I quipped to my wife, “They must be the ACLU Christmas hating atheist family.” She, not wishing to pass judgment and always desiring to think the best of all people, responded, “Well, maybe they are away for the holidays and didn’t want to leave the lights on while they were gone.”
If that could have only been true.
When I came back with the boys, I definitely wanted to take a picture of this house and as we passed by it, there was someone home, as can be seen with the vehicles parked in the driveway, and I saw a faint lamp glow coming from a back room. The sad thing, however, was rather than having a Bush hating sticker fixed to the bumper, there was a little fish symbol.
My heart sunk.
I truly hope they weren’t Grinchy, legalistic Christians who are thinking “We aren’t gonna be worldly, because Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa Claus.” If that is the case, I hope they re-think their lack of involvement with doing something fun with their neighbors next year rather than being a stick in the mud separatist.
And, just so that every knows, it wasn’t Phil’s house.
Anyhow, before I post this, I wish to offer my heart felt thanks to the McBride, Crouse, Del Rio, Yagher, Craig, Viani, Porter, Moneymaker, Mullen, Mortimer, Meza, Parker, Douglass, Irwin, Pollet, Tessari, Howe, Halliday, Young, and Bigelow families for sending pictures that included the ENTIRE family, and not just the unknown “kids.”