Sunday, November 26, 2006

Dreaming of a light Christmas

So we went to the tree lighting and carols in Narrowsburg last night. A smallish group huddled round a smaller tree looking slightly unsure as to who was meant to be leading, and as one contingent launched into 'Frosty the Snowman', another called for 'Jingle Bells', even as a lone soprano warbled the opening bars of 'Hark the Herald'. Dot and I have never been much for American Christmas music anyway, and were more impressed with the mulled wine and grilled cheese sandwiches provided by our friend Michael of the Main Street Cafe and wine shop.

Anyway it was all a bit early for me to really be getting into the Christmas spirit. Not so our neighbours. Overnight, pumpkins and blow-up turkeys have been ousted from front lawns by illuminated inflatable snowmen, nodding fairy-light deer and veritable avalanches of those flashing icicle lights. Restraint is not a much admired virtue and I'm noticing that taste is often in inverse proportion to the size of the front lawn. But I have to admit that, with the long, cold nights and the lonely, dark, wooded roads out here, there's something strangely comforting about coming upon an isolated house ablaze with (even pretty naff) festive cheer.

Which brings me to my own Xmas dilemma. You see, I love Christmas. I'm a real sucker for the carols, the trees and especially the pretty lights. And it being Dot's first Christmas and all, I have this picture in my head of the three of us battoning down the hatches against the bears, coyotes and sub-zero temperatures and snuggling up in front of our wood stove and our twinkly Christmas tree. But on the other hand I know I should be thoroughly diapproving of it all and boycott the lights in a bid to save the planet. I mean, how much bad must all those extra lights being left on all the time do - especially the ridiculously OTT displays described above and summed up by this pic I nicked off it's the environment, stupid (and yes, I know this is Thanksgiving cheer, which somehow makes it even more ridiculous, don't you think?)

But what to do? I have spotted a lovely bit of fir tree abandoned down the road after a neighbour pruned her garden. I think tomorrow I'll pop over with the secateurs and a hacksaw and see what I can contrive from salvaged branches. Hm, a simple fir wreath and a few boughs draped in tinsel recycled from last year could actually be quite stylish in a rustic sort of a way, even without lights. I'll keep you posted, as always.

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