I have a cousin in Idaho who wins $100 every year in his neighbourhood Christmas light decorating contest. He has the whole house covered in lights that are synched to music, which is broadcast to viewers via FM radio. They get a steady stream of cars coming to their place all through December. And every year it just gets bigger and better (the picture here is from last year's display, before he got the two inflatable snowmen, etc).
We haven't had any Christmas lights up on our house for several years. In fact, this is one of the few years that we've even bothered to set up a tree. Often, we would fly out of town to visit family so early in the month that it didn't make much sense to leave a tree to wither and die by the time we got back in January. Call us lazy. Call us humbugs. Whatever.
This year is different. This year we have a tree. Sure, I was too busy studying for finals to go along when R's sister and husband went out for the genuine tree-cutting experience, but they still brought back for us an organic, free-range tree. They delivered it right to our door, actually. We pulled out the small box of decorations (which we received as wedding gifts 7 years ago) and now we have a healthy dose of Christmas spirit emanating from the living room. People out on the street can probably see it through the window, where they must be struck to the core with the spirit of the season.
Speaking of windows, we happened to receive a few strings of outdoor Christmas lights that R's sister didn't need, so I decided to try putting those up outside to take it up another notch. Unfortunately, after outlining the kitchen window with lights (which was no mean feat with baby Scott in tow) I ran out of time and had to quit for the day. So right now we have one window full of Christmas cheer.
I had it plugged in for the first night, but I think I'll wait until I get at least two windows done before I plug it in again. But on the other hand, at the rate we've been going, that might not ever happen.