My neighbor across the street used to decorate for Christmas with one string of lights along the edge of the front roof. It was subdued and tasteful. I don’t know what possessed him. . . but this year he went all out. Mega-decorations complete with the manger scene creche.
Along with all the other spectacular lights he had giant red lit-up candy canes lining his driveway. Several times in the evening when I caught a quick glace thru the blinds I thought his house was on fire—there was that much red. Anyway, it was okay and kind of cheerful once I got used to it.
He decorated in stages over several weeks. This past week he has been slowly taking the decorations down. Now all that remains is the creche, with several white plastic angels on the roof of the little shelter.
There is something immeasurably sweet about looking across the street and being reminded of the event of the ages. The event around which all history pivots. Once the Santa hoopla is over, that’s all that endures—the little holy family—with the shepherds, the magi, the angels, and us looking on. . . and adoring.
It’s okay with me if he leaves it up all year.