Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Dixie*

One of the things I most look forward to at Christmas is taking drives to view, gawk at, rave on, and rat out all the beautiful, creative, original – and sometimes just plain tacky – Christmas decorations folks put up.

I have often looked especially forward to seeing the decorations in the neighborhood where Scott's mother lives. Her neighborhood is one with a yard-of-the-month award and awards for best Christmas decorations. At Christmas, they award first, second, and third prizes as well as an award for the most creative and most original theme and at least one Honorable Mention.

I remember the first time I went home with Scott for Christmas in 1996, I was awed by the house down the street from his mom's with a Twelve Days of Christmas theme. From a single partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, every gift in the song is represented by hand-carved and painted plywood figures. It's one of the most complex and elaborate holiday displays I've ever seen. Twelves years later, though, and it's as stale now as it was clever the first time I laid eyes on it.

There haven't been any new and exciting displays of holiday sentiment in my mother-in-law's neighborhood in the last five or six years. One year, there was a rash of folks putting wooden crosses in their yards at Christmas, but I think it only lasted that one year until folks realized the purpose of Christmas is to celebrate Christ's coming into the world rather than to anticipate his departure. Other than that, Scott's mom has been the only one to exhibit any creativity. That was the year she had 7 ft. tall gilded angels blowing trumpets on either side of her walkway. She crafted them out of chicken-wire and spray painted them gold. They were really gorgeous. Everything else was white lights and gold and burgundy ribbon. Very elegant.

Sadly, there have been few holiday displays the last few years that I found worthy of comment or critique.... Until this year, when the glorious elements of Southern pride, Christmas joy, and football fanaticism united in the stroke of genius and gumption that lead to this awesome display:

What else can I say, except, Roll Tide!

*Props to Scott for giving me this title and taking the pictures out in the rain of this testament to all things Alabama for me.