Thanksgiving is done.
Now it’s onto Christmas.
I hate the shopping, but love the trees and lights.
I especially love it when an entire neighborhood pulls out all the stops and goes mad with their decor, each neighbor outdoing the next. We knew the holiday had begun when Ernie, our neighbor at the end of the street, came out in his overalls and climbed a ladder. Within a few hours his house was a show stopper. Every leaf, shrub, climbing vine, and even his porch was ablaze with twinkling lights. At that was just the beginning. Then he pulled out his assorted reindeer, different size stars, and multicolored lights for the roof and the trees for the front of the house. By the time he finished, and it took him all day with the help of many of us, we stood back waiting as he dashed inside the garage and flipped a switch. In an instant his home was transformed into a winter marvel. We applauded.
One year, inspired by Ernie, my children decorated the hedges with a zillion flashing lights. The driveway looked like an airport landing strip at night.
My neighbors across the street, new to this country, want to make sure they’re embracing the holiday correctly. Icicle lights hang all around the roof, a Christmas tree blinks through their living room window, the front door wreath plays Frosty the Snowman, and poinsettias line the driveway. Oh and their yellow lab wears a red collar with jingle bells.
New to the Christian season this year were several hundred Ferguson protesters that attempted to prevent the tree lighting in downtown San Francisco last Friday night. Fortunately for the tourists and locals in town for Black Friday shopping, the police held them back and the ceremony went off without a hitch. But let me tell you it was tense for a while. The box stores were holding their collective breath hoping beyond hope that nothing would interrupt the shoppers’ hypnotic frenzy for the best deals.
It was raining this morning when I came in on the train. My water streaked window distorted the red, yellow and green from the traffic lights creating a Pollock-like painting in holiday colors.
My first gift of the season.