Christmas is nearly two weeks away and the neighborhood streets are filled with bright and colorful lights. Driving around town in the evenings with Christmas music playing, the heater on, and Christmas lights everywhere is an unforgettable feeling that I look forward to every year. Christmas is indeed my favorite time of year!Unfortunately, my family does not put Christmas lights up on our house, but I do try to do my part by putting lights on the bushes outside of my house. My dad used to put lights up when I was little, but as he became busier with work and I became more into decorating, he delegated the task to me. I am not as punctual as some of my neighbors, but I still participate in the neighborhood spirit. It seems as if some of the houses get competitive with one another. It all starts when the first house on the block puts their Christmas decorations up. It then signals to all the other neighbors it is okay for them to do so as well. I always notice this sense of competitiveness on the main streets surrounding my house. I guess you could call it a case of “Keeping Up With The Jones.” Perhaps a time of year where all of the one-uppers of the neighborhood get the chance to outdo their fellow competition.
Unfortunately, my family never felt that sense of competition, as we were and are always the last ones on the block to hang our lights. However, being festive does not mean you have to put Christmas lights all around the outside of your home. It can be as simple as hanging some holiday decorations or switching out your white porch light with a red or green bulb. In fact, my neighbor who is a busy, single-mother found what worked for her. That was in fact replacing the two lights on each side of her garage with one red light and one green light and putting a small, fake Christmas tree on her porch. Another set of neighbors chose to hang red bows on their courtyard gate, along with a festive flag in their front yard. To each, his (or her) own. Do not over think it, do not let it stress you out, just do what you can, enjoy the holiday season and enjoy the festiveness of your neighborhood.