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John Lamb, Published December 25 2010

Lamb: Season of lights – if only at Mom’s

Hello! I hope I didn’t disturb you. Just wanted to pop in and wish you a happy Christmas.

Actually, as I’m writing this, it is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and I’m frantically trying to get things done so I can devote Thursday and Friday to Christmas shopping, present wrapping, baking, eating and other things that remind me to post a birthday wish on Jesus’ Facebook wall.

While some may view the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas as a chore, I really enjoy those last few harried days, so I try to savor them – because as you’re reading this now, I’m coming down hard off my holiday high.

Call it post-present depression. It’s not like I get truly down about the season. Rather, I enjoy all the trappings so much that during the past week, I start dreading the dawning of Christmas because it’s the last day.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll place all my Christmas CDs back on the bottom shelf of my collection. The same for my “Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” and “Christmas with SCTV” DVD.

It’ll be 11 months before I start shopping for festive cookie cutters. Forty-some weeks before I start hiring art directors for the 2011 Christmas card. Three-hundred-and-thirty-some days until I start “inviting” day laborers to my Christmas craft encampment.

That’s how far my crush on Christmas has taken me: I’ve become very concerned with decorating – my mother’s house.

These past few years, I’ve started hanging lights around the roof. This is not only an accomplishment in festive decoration but a major achievement as I am deathly afraid of heights.

I would crawl out of a second-story window onto the porch roof, flat on my belly like a sniper getting into position – a sniper drawing attention to himself by cursing and murmuring about hating heights.

The hyperventilation was worth it when I got back to terra firma and saw my handiwork all lit up. That is until I realized I used white lights on a green cord against white gutters.

How tacky! Think less Norman Rockwell and more Norman Fell.

The first year I wrapped lights down the porch railing, but my mom thought that made it hard to hold the banister. So I started thinking of replacing the railing with one that could hold more lights, maybe even adding on to the porch.

That’s right, I was looking at making structural changes to a house in the name of a decorative December. And it’s not even my own house.

But if I’m going to enlarge my display, I’ll need to get more lights. With stores offering close-out, day-after sales on seasonal swag tomorrow, that’s only hours until I get to start Christmas shopping again.

Keep Christmas with you, all through the year – even if you have to store it in your mom’s attic.


Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533