December 07, 2004

Sweeps Are Over--It's Reruns!

Look--things are out of control right now with the job transitioning and the shopping and the whole hoo-ha, so for your amusement here are a couple of holiday-themed reruns. Yes, I am lame, but I do this for free, people, so suck it up.

And so, behind the cut, you will find treatises on why Target is my Favorite. Store. Ever. and how NOT to decorate for Christmas.

Mayhap tomorrow I will have time for something original.

Oooooh! Shiny!

I've just gotta get this off my chest: I HEART Target. Why? Mainly because it's shiny. Rows upon rows of glorious consumer items, all arranged tastefully for your perusal. Bright lighting that reflects off of the polished shiny floor tiling, big bright signs adorned with smiling faces and colorful critters, and the aromatic scent of popcorn (unlike our local Wal-Mart or K-Mart, which always smell dishearteningly like fertilizer. I've gotta have a favorable nasal impression of a store, or I can't go there.). I can't even be ironic or sarcastic about this, except to say that Target's marketing department knows my demographic, and that I feel more than a little like a crow or a raven when I'm there, seduced and distracted by the shiny.

This time of year I find the siren song of the big red circle impossible to resist, because Target ratchets the shiny up about a million notches with the addition of: the Christmas section! Woo-hoo! The big corral of fake trees, all sparkly with their lights, whole kiosks devoted to baubles and doo-dads to clutter up the home, elegant gift bags, ribbons and matching tags and wrapping paper, for that coordinated under the tree look, and all conveniently located right next to the toy and electronics aisles. Wheee! I stand amongst the surfeit of shiny, inhaling the scent of popcorn and fantasizing about how this Christmas my home will be beautifully appointed, and the husband and I will smile and joke over our mulled wine whilst I effortlessly produce hand decorated gingerbread men for my darling rosy-cheeked toddler. The fantasy even includes my festive holiday apron--the one with the Shakespeare quote in gold (which I have never yet remembered to wear while making Christmas cookies).

Needless to say, my reality is somewhat different. The house is currently in that half-decorated, mostly filthy state, and I've given up trying to get EVERY SINGLE SURFACE disinfected for the guests before decorating--the rosy-cheeked toddler spends his time pulling stuff down, breaking other stuff, and crying when his father tries to stop/distract/remove him. Dinner is eaten in shifts because we cannot currently locate the kitchen table under the gifts that need wrapping and the cards that need mailing and the day's mail and paper and various other items we are trying to keep away from the small destructive one. The Great Shiny Shrubbery Project is in disarray because we only have about 15 minutes of daylight to work in when we get home and I discovered yesterday that a) I've hooked up the plugs backward and must now undo and redo them all and b) you can only run 4 shrubs per plug or the fuse blows. I'm tired and grumpy--and oh yeah, poor--and the only one really enjoying himself right now is the toddler.

Still, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've got lots of fun stuff planned, we've cut the travelling to the bare minimum to make it easier on ourselves, and if I can just get through this week, maybe the fantasy of mulled wine and gingerbread can be a reality. And in the meantime, there's always Target.


Red Rum. Reeeeddddd Ruuuuummmm!

When it comes to Christmas decorations, I'm a lowest common denominator kinda gal. If it lights up and/or is shiny or tacky or plastic--great! I'm not gonna strap eight tiny flashing reindeer and a glowing Santa to my roof, but I'll enjoy your home if you have. Wanna incorporate Frosty and Rudolf in your front yard nativity scene, gazing adoringly with vacant cartoon eyes at the baby Jesus? Fabulous! I'll slow down to appreciate the view, chuckle, and move on. Mix your media, mix your messages, plug it in and/or inflate it, and I'll take the long circuitous route home just to be able to tell folks what I saw on my drive.

However, there is one decorating element that does not fill me with Christmasy joie de vivre--red lights. I'm not talking about the bulb on your mechanical Rudolf's nose, either, or the occasional strand mixed in with all the other stuff. I mean the homes that do all of the window candles and trim in red. I know that red is supposed to convey the warmth of a cozy hearth, that it's one of the two main Christmas colors, etc., but I'm sorry, it just doesn't work that way when used on a large scale. It looks like your house has channeled the spirit of the Overlook Hotel, and frankly, it frightens me. Not from a "how gauche" perspective, but from an "AAACCK! Hell on earth! Axe murderers!" perspective.

My horror of the red stems from my fifth grade year, when for some light Christmas reading I picked up The Amityville Horror, and scared myself into a fugue state with it. The most lasting image from that book was the glowing red pig eyes that appeared in the windows of the home. After reading that book, every time I saw a lightbulb reflected in a window pane, I jumped, and it was in this heightened state of fear that my mom took me with her to visit a friend, who had incidentally done all of her window lights in red. I spent two hours convinced that I was surrounded by pig demons, and have never fully recovered from the trauma. To this day, houses bathed in the all over glow of red chill my heart.

So if you want to make your home into the Eye of Sauron for the holiday season, feel free, but don't be surprised if I give your expression of holiday cheer a pass.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at December 7, 2004 03:36 PM