In case you missed it, Thanksgiving 2010 is over. Done. Finished. It’s time to toss out the pumpkins, pack away the gourds and stop trying to turn leftover turkey into something edible. In fact, it’s now time to move on to the next holiday, the “Making Sure You Have the Most Christmas Junk on the Outside of your House” holiday, also known as MSYHTMCJOTOOYH. Yep, that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
Name aside, I’m not sure how this holiday was started. But somehow, somewhere this tradition of having your house lit up like the Vegas strip during the entire month of December has taken hold and it is not letting go. And although it pains me to admit it, I’m part of this tradition. I believe that no home should go without a strand of lights during the holidays. And it doesn’t hurt to toss in some lit up snowflakes, faux presents, a full replica of Santa’s workshop and enough fake snow to blanket your entire city, either.
For the novices among us, people who have never heard of MSYHTMCJOTOOYH, but who have spent countless hours wondering why lawns all over the country have suddenly sprouted imprisoned snowmen, waving forlornly from their plastic snow globes, here are a few tips I have put together over my many years of celebrating MSYHTMCJOTOOYH.
- Before you can actually decorate, you have to find the decorations. Let’s be honest here. Unless you are like my former neighbor, whom I will call “Fred,” mainly because that was his name, last year you took down the decorations when the holidays were over—or at least before Easter. And if you’re like most people (again, with the exception of Fred who simply changed Santa’s hat to bunny ears at Easter), you haven’t thought about the decorations since. Which is why you probably have no idea where the stuff is now. If you’re smart, you’ll use this as an excuse to clean out the garage. If you’re like my husband, you’ll look for a while, then drive to Costco and buy even more Christmas junk that we will display this year and lose track of next year.
- On the off chance that you are an organized person (unlike me, but possibly like Fred) and know exactly where the decorations are stored, you should understand that it is a rule of MSYHTMCJOTOOYH decorating that nothing that has to be assembled will have the directions stored in the box. In fact, the directions are long gone, probably used as a fire starter for last year’s camping trip. Just try your best and remember–reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh. They are not hung from the trees with fake arrows in their heads. That’s just scary.
- Once you have the boxes of decorations out, it’s time to start decorating. Now I believe that in a lot of cases, less is more. I know that men do not believe this, especially when it comes to Christmas lights. But let’s face facts. If you are causing blackouts throughout the city the minute you switch on your holiday light extravaganza you probably have a one strand too many hanging from the eaves.
- Of course, there are taste boundaries when it comes to decorating, even when celebrating the absolutely tasteless holiday of MSYHTMCJOTOOYH. While you may think the dancing Santa who wiggles around and then drops his pants to moon people is an absolutely hysterical addition to your outdoor display, your neighbors across the street probably don’t agree. Santa bums are best displayed indoors in a place where children won’t be frightened.
- And I think it probably goes without saying that friends don’t let friends drink and decorate. Sure it looks good the day you put all the stuff out there. But the next morning when you’re suffering from the inevitable hangover and you walk out in your jammies to get the paper you’ll find the entire neighborhood outside, staring at your house and wondering just exactly what you were thinking when you put a naked, anatomically-correct, inflatable doll in the sleigh instead of Santa. Trust me when I say nobody is going to believe you were the victim of a drive-by decorator.
- And as a final tip, remember when celebrating MSYHTMCJOTOOYH, it’s not the thought that counts. It’s the size of your power bill at the end of the month.