02 December 2005

Who, me? Scrooge?

I live in The Woodlands, Texas, a little Stepford Wives suburb of Houston where they still have things like Yard of the Month and Best Christmas Display competitions.

The displays in my neighborhood have been going up over the last few days, and they do make you feel all jolly when you drive in. They aren't out at every house but the numbers grow a little every day. You see here my favorite so far, a visual oxymoron in a place where some of the neighborhood kids have probably never seen actual snow.

Some of the houses on my street probably will remain dark because they are vacant. They are for sale or lease -- which probably makes the neighbors crazy since renters (say it with a shudder) are not reknowned for enthusiastic participation in Suburban Pride competitions.

Being a renter, I understand this lack of enthusiasm. I don't do grass, and it seems silly to spend money on flowers for someone else's yard, no matter how much it would make me smile. On the other hand, I would do the Christmas lights thing -- except that I'm going to be in Denmark for most of the season.

Last year The Martian came over to have his luggage stolen from the airport, a real American Christmas. He got to see some truly insane displays of Christmas lights, the mobs of harried shoppers, a candlelight Christmas Eve church service, and my family's particular Christmas morning rituals of stockings, coffee and excess.

This year I'll fly to Billund, Denmark, around mid-month. The Martian and I will do some shopping and activities in Åarhus, then head to Aalborg, where his parents live, for some activities (including one in which I cook some "American food" for his family. EEK!). For Christmas, which Danes celebrate on Christmas Eve, I think we will be heading to his sister's home in Mou. New Year's Eve will be back in Århus with friends.

I'm just a passenger for all this, and I'm game for whatever happens. My only requirement is that if that nasty herring is a part of the celebration, I will need a lot of good Danish butter cookies to wash it down.

I look forward to seeing a different culture of Christmas, but I know I will miss some of our rituals. My family will 'hold Christmas' until I am back from Denmark & the UMR is back from Brazil, where he spends Christmas with his girlfriend's family. Well, we will delay the present-opening part, but i'm sure that mom will un-decorate the house like a good girl on New Year's Day.

My own boxes of Christmas 'stuff' will stay in the attic this year, but that doesn't make me a Scrooge. I did open them to find my holiday sweaters, socks and jewelry, the dog's blinking Christmas collar (in need of a new battery of course) and 1-2 other mandatory holiday things. I've started using my Christmas dishes, and one of these days I might even play some Christmas iTunes.

And every time I leave the house, I'll enjoy everybody else's holiday light displays, even if our little neighborhood doesn't 'win' anything.

1 comment:

Astaryth said...

Wow, Christmas in Denmark... That sounds so cool! I hope you plan to take lots of pictures and update us so we can live vicariously thru you ::G::