Deck the halls with rotting pumpkins
And to think I once complained about an orange extension cord. As a new bride, I was thrilled at the prospect of decorating a whole house for Christmas. No more stringing lights from an eighth-floor apartment balcony. No more pathetic fake tree w...
And to think I once complained about an orange extension cord.
As a new bride, I was thrilled at the prospect of decorating a whole house for Christmas. No more stringing lights from an eighth-floor apartment balcony. No more pathetic fake tree with pathetic "single girl" decorations.
So I embarked on a holiday shopping binge that almost sent my new mate to divorce court. There would be three trees: a real Fraser fir for the living room, a fake tree bedecked with blue and silver ornaments in the master bedroom, a Tiny Tim tree for miniature gewgaws. The multi-paned dining room window would be adorned with crystal ornaments, fir boughs and white lights. And most importantly, the eaves of the house would drip with glittering icicle lights.
This was all a bit tough on Irwin, who hates Christmas décor with a Scrooge-ian passion. His idea of tree-trimming is to cut down a nice-looking fir, stick it in a bucket and hang a single strand of lights on it. Now he lived in Santa's Village. He couldn't breathe without accidentally ingesting a strand of tinsel.
Still, he must have been anxious to please his new wife - or at least to quiet the incessant nagging. He grudgingly devoted an afternoon to hanging the lights. He did a fine job, too - with one exception. Always more devoted to practicality than aesthetics, he draped a bright orange extension cord down the middle of the house to illuminate the whole works. (In retrospect, this may have been his passive-aggressive protest, a silent one-man objection to the gaudy commercialism of the holiday.) Still, orange cord or not, it made for a very festive display.
With each Christmas season, my enthusiasm for holiday décor waned. Yet I managed to escape complete bah-humbug-dom. I found it was easier to hang wreaths on the garage lights than to get Irwin to hang lights around the eaves. A fresh Christmas wreath - an annual gift from my sister-in-law - did remarkable things to transform the front door. And a little trio of lighted trees gave our home some seasonal bling.
This year, however, we've hit a new low. Not only are the usual touches absent, but we're decorating with vestiges of holidays past. This year, we're decorating with pumpkins.
Or, to be precise, rotted pumpkins. Rotted pumpkins that are frozen to the ground. They line the driveway like hillbilly luminarias. One large one, its painted face frozen in a fiendish sneer, is melting into the front step. Three giant shells - once three strapping Atlantic beauties - huddle like ice-glazed walruses on the front lawn.
I nagged Irwin weeks ago to get rid of them. But it was warm then, and it would have taken a scoop shovel. "Well, wait till it freezes," I said.
Except when it froze, it did so in the form of freezing rain, which sealed the rotting veggie corpses to the ground.
And so now our family will sing a new carol this year.
Deck the yard with rotted punkins'
Husband claims he can't do nothin'
'Cuz the squash froze to the pavement,
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
So now they hide two of the wise men
Tammy Swift writes a weekly column
for The Forum. She can be reached