Decorating for Christmas

Rick Ryckeley's picture

It finally happened — just in time for the holidays — The Wife’s leaving.

Now I know that’s not a surprise to some of you. How she puts up with yours truly for as long as she has is certainly a modern-day miracle.

But I’m not the real reason she’s leaving. Work is sending her across the country to San Diego for four days. She asked me if I wanted to go, but I said no. They don’t have sweet tea way out there.

The Wife travels a lot with her job. Last month they sent her up north to North Carolina. And yes, to a native Georgian, North Carolina is north. As a matter of fact, if you travel anywhere north of I-20 (not that there’s any reason to), it’s considered north. I even heard they don’t have sweet tea on the menu in North Carolina. That place is so uncivilized. No wonder they lost the war.

For people not born in the South, sweet tea to a Southerner is like champagne is to an opera aficionado. It’s the drink of choice.

If you ever find yourself in a restaurant where the waitress says, “We don’t have sweet tea, but I can bring you some sugar,” you should leave. If you ever order grits for breakfast and the waitress asks you what a grit is, you know you’re somewhere way north of I-20. Turn around and come back down south.

The Wife made two gallons of sweet tea before she left so I should survive — until she returns and finds out the house is decorated for the holidays.

The giant inflatable Santa and his 14 reindeer on the roof are already the talk of the entire neighborhood. I know Santa only had nine reindeer, but the hardware store with the orange roof had a huge sale. Yeah, I know, not many people know about Fred the reindeer.

It took a lot of lights to do the three trees on the front lawn. Luckily, the stores had big sales after Halloween and I stocked up. Ours are the only trees decked out with bats, ghosts and pumpkin Christmas lights. After the first night the lights were on, I found four letters on my door. I haven’t read them yet, but I bet everyone wants to know where my decorations came from.

Code enforcement came by and talked to me yesterday. I know he didn’t like opera so I offered him a glass of sweet tea. I explained that the eight-foot-tall, revolving, red and white pole in the front yard is really the North Pole, not a barber shop sign.

I think he was upset he couldn’t get a haircut. I’m still waiting for a special permit for the snow machine though. Seems we’re still in the middle of a 100-year drought and not supposed to waste water. The dozen blow-up penguins on the front lawn are going to look mighty silly out there if we can’t make snow.

Since I live in a nice neighborhood, I’m worried about carolers coming by. I haven’t had time to fill in the bottomless pit from Halloween. I’d get The Boy to help, but he’s still missing.

Guess I’ll just hang some scary spider lights around it and hope nobody falls in. We still haven’t found those carolers from last year. Of course, that may explain the singing coming from the bottomless pit.

I can’t wait for The Wife to see the inside of the house. It’s amazing how much can be decorated with $100 worth of orange and black tinsel. Those after-Halloween sales are really terrific. Only real problem is the cats. They don’t like being dressed up as Santa’s tiny reindeer. The antlers are too big, and they keep falling over. And the black cat doesn’t like the red nose; she keeps kicking it off. I guess I could try glue.

I brought our tree inside today, an eight-foot Frazier fir. It came from North Carolina. I read you should mix some sugar in the water to keep the tree alive and happy through the holidays. We don’t have any sugar left; The Wife used it all for the sweet tea.

I’ll just use that instead, even though the tree did come from North Carolina.

login to post comments | Rick Ryckeley's blog