By: Brett Minnick
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams may be the most accurate description of the holiday season I can provide.
So much is happening around this time that it is one of the most anticipated times of the year. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s excite the latter half of the month while snow days and cutting down a christmas tree build up the holiday spirit.
When we talk about decorations that appear during this time, it is a little different than it was for Halloween. To start, not as many people will see your decorations as there is no one night where people walk around from house to house. On the other hand, I have noticed it seems as though more people decorate their houses on a larger scale for the holidays and have a lot more options to choose from. There are lights and inflatable people in the yard and then also interior decorations like your tree. Holiday lighting is also a little more straightforward than Halloween. Halloween has darker tones and the combinations are of darker colors with different combinations to choose from. Christmas however has bright red and green alongside Hanukkah which typically has light blues and yellows. Those are the typical colors of lights we see alongside basic bright white lights that wonderfully reflect off the snow. In the yard set up we see the same blow up characters and animals such as penguins, snowmen, Santa, and reindeer. One of my favorites would be the displays that feature Santa and his reindeer set up on your roof. Another one of my favorites I have seen would be the gingerbread man that bathes in a hot chocolate hot tub, which would effectively kill any other gingerbread man but this guy seems to enjoy it so it’s okay. Indoors however, the greatest tradition of them all occurs which is decorating a christmas tree. So memorable and integral with Christmas and the holiday season itself, it is hard to find a home that does not have one of these to stuff presents under for children. Before I go on about how trees are decorated however, it would be wrong of me not to mention the stupidest tradition there is this time of year.
Elf on a Shelf. Parents tell their kids that the elf moves overnight and watches them to report back to Santa whether they have been naughty or nice. This all seems fine except for the fact that it is a toy. And based on Christmas lore, “Santa sees you when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake, and knows when you have been bad or good so you should be good for goodness sake.” So why does he need an elf to do this work for him? Is it to take the load off him? Because if so Santa is real lazy considering he only works one time a year and practically has slave labor do all the dirty work of making the toys for him. Aside from those points however, this gag can be great for children to behave during the exciting season and is a decent idea when we think of it for the children.
Going back to Christmas trees, they are the best. They make your house smell good, are fun to decorate and serve a very practical purpose of having a place for the presents to go when the kids come storming down to claim them. People love to decorate them with lights, christmas balls, tinsel, and even the shoddy tree decorations kids make in elementary school that we love because of their simplicity and creativity. And no tree is complete without a star or angel or other decoration to adorn the top of the tree that keeps the whole thing together. Perhaps the best part is the cheery atmosphere they add to a house, illuminating it and showing that you are no grinch.
The most wonderful time of the year is truly so because of the effort and atmosphere put forth from the homes that show off how much we all love the holidays. And even if you do not celebrate a holiday this time of year, look forward to New Year’s Eve parties and the great new year ahead.