In honor of the season, Springfield Patch presents this classic holiday article. -AB
No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, 'tis the season to be festive, and in this neck of the New Jersey woods we take festive seriously. I don't think there is any official rule book or anything, but the competition to see who can outdo their neighbors by putting up the most and the brightest decorations has gotten totally out of hand.
Some people here cheerfully indulge in the festive nature of the season by hanging a few strings of lights outside their home or even putting one of those marginally scary inflatable Santas on their front lawn. Others enthusiastically indulge their "totally gone 'round the bend" side by covering every square inch of their homes, their lawns, their neighbors' lawns and even their children if they stand still for too long with blinking holiday cheer. You can spot these people easily, because they are the ones spending their July days at the beach sitting on a towel untangling Christmas lights and muttering to themselves.
Well, live and let live, I say. Far be it from me to judge how other people celebrate. The only problem I have is that it tends to trigger yet another festive holiday tradition, the Annual Uptick In Strange Traffic Accidents On My Block. For years, we have had a sign at the entrance to my street that warns people that they are about to enter a cul de sac, but no one has actually ever seen the sign, primarily because it is usually lying flat on the ground and is covered in tire prints. The reason it's lying flat on the ground is because the blinded drivers have run it down.
Allow me to explain. I live in a part of town where the neighbors on my crossing street are of the more, shall we say, festive variety. These are people who, at other times of the year, are wonderful, responsible people who hold down serious jobs and are excellent neighbors, but the holiday season truly makes them lose their minds. Unsuspecting drivers grow accustomed to the brightness and when they turn onto my block—which is pitch black because most of us just happen to be Jewish—they rapidly find out what happens to your driving ability when your pupils unpin suddenly.
My feeling is that the town is wasting its money on a cul de sac sign. It would probably be a lot more reassuring just before they plow it down to have a sign that says, "Happy Holidays. No, you are NOT having a stroke."
Best wishes to you all for a moderately bright holiday season from Springfield Patch.