Every December (once the kids are grown) the question arises: To deck the halls or not, and how ferociously? Buy a tree? Dig out the boxes of lights and baubles from the depths of their annual hidings? And in particular, how far to go with outdoor décor?
Six billion dollars. That’s a lot of dollars. According to the National Retail Federation, that’s how many dollars Americans will spend this year on holiday decorations, and the NRF ought to know. Bling décor is big this year.
I do know the economy needs a boost, and perhaps this season will do the trick. Our budget, though, not to mention my being on overwhelm with everything else, isn’t going to help the country reach that six billion mark. Inside: an amaryllis or two, the annual card display on the piano top, a fold-out carved wooden nativity scene from long ago, a couple of candles in frosted holders that say “Noel” and “Peace” with quiet optimism.
Outside: one nice wreath, $24.95 at Trader Joe’s, and six battery-operated candles from Walgreen’s, two-for-$5.99, in the center of our six front windows, and that’s it. I have to say, about the battery-operated candles, they may become tradition. Finally found some that don’t blink and flutter obnoxiously, as if they want you to think they’re really burning right there in front of the flammable curtains. These are tall and slender and possibly smarter than I – they come on every night at 6, go off at 2 AM, and come right back on the next night; I do not know how they do all that, for three bucks each.
But it’s pretty, in the chill Sacramento Street air, and enough. It goes well with the multi-themed house five doors up that blossoms with cheer annually for Brigitte, its ebullient German owner; the minimally-done home of new parents next to Brigitte; the tastefully un-decorated home of the Muslim family next house down; and the merry, annual Hanukkah cut-outs in the windows of my next-door neighbors.
Holiday joy to us all, and may there be peace somehow, some day, on earth.
Causes Fran Johns Supports
Compassion & Choices of N.CA
San Francisco Interfaith Council