Keeping up with the Joneses

Christmas lights

Joel braved the freezing cold to run down the block and across a busy street to get this picture for me. Thanks, dear.

All around us, our neighbors are starting to put up Christmas lights. Not the Griswoldian-style lights you might expect from a Midwestern suburb, but there are smatterings here, there and everywhere.

Deep down I knew this would happen, but don’t yet feel prepared to make a decision about how we will or will not retaliate. One the one hand, I know that Claire would really get a kick out of fancy lights. She’s already lobbying us to purchase ceramic reindeer and corn husk polar bears and other various tchotchkes when we go to Target.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I approve of either the expense of running the lights all season or the dedication to securing all those little bulbs in some tidy fashion to the outside of our house. Because, let’s be clear, Joel and I are both perfectionists. If we choose to do lights, we will Do Lights. There can be no halfway, no sloppy, no lights flung over the far branches of the trees.

If we do it, it will be with precision.

Tomorrow morning, as early as we can muster, we’ll be driving the nine-ish hours to see my family in Missouri. This buys us some time to think about the lights, which would most definitely have to go up next weekend. After all, if you’re going to Do Lights, it would be a waste to just have this up for a couple of weeks, right?


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