After 14 years of constant sunshine in the state of Florida I made the questionable decision to return to my hometown in suburban Philadelphia. Although I am pretty sure I may be suffering from a mild case of seasonal depression, I still look forward to the Christmas holiday when I can embarrass my neighbors by decorating my home like I am contestant on TLC’s Invasion of the Christmas Lights.
If you want to set your house apart you have to take several crucial steps. I have compiled them in what I refer to as the Colley-Holgate Family Christmas Extravaganza.
- You need a staff.
Staff is crucial to the expedition of this project. ENTHUSIASTIC staff. Luckily, mine comes in the form of The Husband and my-over-eager-people-pleaser- firstborn. If you possess neither of these types of people, there are overly expensive landscaping companies you can pay to decorate.
- Forget the white lights.
Embrace trashy. The secret lies in diversity. While Target is the place to go for twinkly, purple LED strings of blinking icicle lights, you are going to have to frequent a few more joints if you want some real nitty gritty old skool illumination. Where else can you purchase “Merry Brite” glitter candles but on the dusty back shelf of aisle 8 at CVS? Think outside the box: Walgreens, Costco, the Christmas section at Boscov’s. SPRING YARD SALES! Bingo. Know what is hanging on my backyard fireplace? A set of red chili pepper string lights purchased from a drug store in Tallahassee, Florida 10 years ago.
- Fake spray snow.
Remember that fake spray snow of yonder year they used to sell at Kmart? (My mother used to find me sniffing the snow-encrusted pine needles). Guess what, doll? THEY STILL MAKE IT. Buy cans of it and turn your pristine Evergreen into a chemical laden flurried tree looking as if it was shipped in from Switzerland.
Here. There. Everywhere. BOOM. Bonus points for purple with gold strands weaved throughout.
- Large inflatables and plastic characters.
We have yet to purchase the nativity inflatables, but rock pretty much every available kind. The plastic 4 foot Snow men might be harder to come by, I found ours in my cousin Amy’s attic. The kids in your ‘hood will be sure to envy your Spongebob and R2D2 flapping in the wind, and that neighbor across the way who is only allowed to put up and extra large wreath will surely be jealous of your A Christmas Story Leg Lamp…