Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," preparing for the big holiday built around a johnny-come-lately baby, using rituals and trappings of deeply ancient faiths!
Have some egg nog. Light the Yule log. Roast the prize hog!
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, I get an itch. It's not the urge to run to the mall and spend on credit. It's the uncontrollable need to start decking the halls.
I'm a goat judge, not an electrician. But buried on my wish list, somewhere between a monthly box of fine chocolates and a full body massage by Johnny Depp, there lies the urge to create a crazy Christmas house.
Exhibit A: Crazy Christmas House
You know what I'm talking about. Those over-the-top displays of gaudy greatness, plastic snowmen and manger scenes and every inch of every branch of every tree swathed in light.
We had one guy here in the borough who did a crazy Christmas house all in white lights. He had a manger scene with live actors, donkeys, and sheep (no goats, that was strange); a choir of Dickens-clad carollers; and a real live Santa Claus with a real white beard on the front porch. That house was lit up so bright it looked like daytime. People came from miles around to see it. And unlike the heaven described so vividly by my sister's pastor, you didn't need a ticket to get in. You just parked and walked up the sidewalk. Side-stepping the donkey doo.
That kind fellow went on to the Great North Pole in the Sky about 15 years ago, may he rest in neon. His crazy Christmas house passed into history. But there are others in our county, and my kids and I make a yearly trek to the best ones.
But oh! To make one! To buy all those plastic critters and run all the wires out to the dancing elves display! Oh, to watch your neighbors melt down as you disrupt the power grid and draw gawkers from two states!
I guess it's a good thing I'm a goat judge.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS