commuterchroniclesdbh

Driving and Biking in the Big City

Christmas kitsch

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Yoda uses the Force for Christmas

Yoda uses the Force for Christmas

What is it about the holiest of Christian holidays that puts some folks over the top? I admitted last column that I’m one of those people and that I struggle every Christmas season to stay on the tasteful side of Christmas kitsch. But I know I’m not alone. I see it in decorations all over my neighborhood and yours, and I love it.

I’m the first to buy a dancing Santa hat, a Christmas-carol singing bass, a jolly St. Nicholas who does the hula to a country song. When I played a lot of tennis, we had a Santa with a tennis racket as part of our outdoor decorations. Now, that same Santa drives a sleigh fashioned from wire and is accompanied by four matching reindeer. They have been white, lighted and now are spray painted a much classier copper color.

Pink flamingos -- festive for all seasons

Pink flamingos — festive for all seasons

I have been drawn to clever Christmas decorations since I was a child and my dad was such a kid at Christmas. He bought a big bag of race cars one year and gave one to every friend and neighbor who came to the door. My childhood girlfriend’s dad was the same and always put the letters to NOEL backwards on his garage, spelling instead LEON. Ha!

Then, we had a house near the park in my hometown where the owner made a production of adding a new string of lights every year. By the time I left home at age 18, folks would come from all over the county to see the glow of the over-done lighting job.

I have never understood this ghost but he shows up every Christmas.

I have never understood this ghost but he shows up every Christmas.

Sponge Bob. Hmmm.

Sponge Bob. Hmmm.

When we first moved to the suburbs of Houston, every street had its own theme – ours was Care Bears. Every house had a 10-foot Care Bear in the yard, each one a different color. One new neighbor had a template for cutting a new one for neighbors as they moved in. Then, when it came time to light up the neighborhood, someone would come around and plug in the Care Bears for anyone who was out of town. It was quite a sight. When we moved to a new neighborhood, it was wooden Christmas trees in every yard. Others had candy canes, angels, stars or cartoon characters like penguins and teddy bears.

UT fans over the top

UT fans over the top

Some of what I consider kitsch this year may simply be the changing times. Sponge Bob and Yoda are today’s versions of Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and 101 Dalmatians. I see those classic decorations, and I don’t give them a second thought. I see Yoda with his light saber on a neighbor’s roof with twinkling lights around him, and I stop for a photo.

Lucky for me I have friends and family with better taste than me. They keep me from overdoing it and put my offensive purchases in the pile for white elephant gifts.Elvis

When I hung my second Elvis ornament on our Christmas tree this year, I had a vision of a tree decorated solely in ornaments of the King. Feels like that might be over the line – unless I stick with young, skinny Elvis.

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Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

December 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

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