OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - This is my favorite time of the year. I think. Today, I accomplished a major goal, putting up the Christmas decorations without electrocuting myself or others in the process.
For the past few years, I have told myself and Lila we are going to scale back on the decor. The kids are grown and mostly away from home on a permanent basis now. But they do come home, and bring the little kids in them with them. And that in turn, brings out the little kid in me.
And so it's off to work I go, strings of lights in one hand, wreaths in the other, kicking the big plastic Santa down the driveway with my foot.
I keep telling myself, I'm not going to over-do it this year. And this year, again, I lied. I over-did it.
Just when I got finished hanging one strand of lights, another strand magically shows up, ready to be hung from a tree or the house. Up goes the blow-up snowmen, and the lighted candy canes. Let's not forget the lighted reindeer and those two six foot lighted trees.
There are so many extension cords running outside my humble home right now, the city fire marshal would issue me a ticket and haul me off to jail if he found out. But I keep going, just like the energizer bunny. More stuff to put up, and the little kid in me begins to smile. That is, until I realize one of the strands hanging from a tree doesn't light. Then the smile is replaced with a frown.
But I persevere.
I undo that strand and replace it with another. Still no go. The fuse must be out. Change the fuse and try again. Success! All the lights are on, the snowmen are blowing up, the trees cast a beautiful glow in the night sky, and the smile comes back to my face.
The kids will be happy to see the decorations and deep down inside, I'm happy too. But this is the last year. Next year, I promise, I will not over-do it. We are going to scale back.
Like I said at the beginning, this is my favorite time of year. I think.