Believe it or not my hubby and I had never seen the “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie until the holiday season of 2019. The grandkids were out for an overnighter, it was on one channel or another (we don’t own a boatload of DVDs) and they recommended it so we thought, why not? We’d heard of it, of course and seen bits and pieces over the years since it was first released, but when we watched it in its entirety we found it truly hilarious. Odd, since I’ve never been a huge fan of Chevy Chase or Beverly D’Angelo, parts of the movie (like the woman in the swimming pool and the kidnapping of Clark’s boss) were oddly disturbing on some level, but the quirky relatives (Play ball!), Clark locked in the attic by his own mother and sobbing over old home movies while clad in a turban, a fur coat and pastel gloves, the squirrel loose in the house being chased by the visiting dog and the cat, poor kitty, freed from wrapping paper but sadly fried into the carpet and the greased snow saucer were just nutty enough to make us howl with laughter. And then there were the lights. What was it? 25,000?

That being said I’ve never been one for a ton of lights around the house at Christmastime; my idea being that less is sometimes more. But in the past few years I’ve gone over the top about no lights. Nearly Scrooge-like, but not totally so, lights were allowed on the Christmas trees, full-size balsam and painted ceramic. But nothing whatsoever on the eaves of the house or garage, nothing strung inside on any window, doorway or wall, nothing standing in the yard. Though I’d never abandon the small Nativity set that always sits on a corner of the porch, but that was the new limit. Rick wanted to string a strand or two along the eaves as we’d done in the past, set out the plastic Santa along with the reindeer and sleigh a friend had painted many years ago but I was adamant. No lights! He went along with me for whatever reason and we were relatively light-free for the past several years. Then came 2020.

I’m not sure if it’s the weirdness the whole year has wrought, the cloudiness that’s been prevalent for most of the autumn or just me coming to a realization that I was not being fair about the whole not too many lights whatsoever thing. So I ordered a battery-powered pre-lit mailbox swag with an on-off timer. It looks sorta cool out there. Then I ordered some battery-powered pre-lit strands of snowflake lights to hang on a little fence we’d built down at the farm. They were happy looking too. Hmmm. Next came some solar-powered light-up candy canes for farm (3) and home (5) (they haven’t arrived yet *sigh*). I thought some solar-powered light-up faux greenery swags would look nice on a sign by our place. Then I came upon some solar-powered light-up faux greenery, flowers and bow crosses that would be lovely put out on the family plots at the cemetery. It didn’t stop there. I put battery-powered pillar candles in the office and spare bedroom windows at home, and strung some blinking, musical (they play seven different Christmas songs teehee including “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bells”) lights around the dining room and kitchen. We put lights along the eaves of the garage and the house. Next, we stood Santa next to his reindeer and sleigh and added some lights as “reins” too. I have battery-powered candles on the mantel and battery-powered pre-lit birch trees on the hearth. The Nativity scene is lit on the front porch. And not only is the ceramic tree at home lit, there’s one in the window of the kitchen in our shed down at the farm casting its glow, a strand of lights in the other kitchen window of the shed and twinkle lights in the lilac bush and apple tree (no evergreens to trim) there. And I’m enjoying all of it! This is probably as Griswold as I’ll ever get and who knows what next year will bring but for now, it’s all good. So glad I snapped out of my no lights mode.

Eight days and counting…

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