The Soft Glow

My neighbors hate me. And if they don't yet, then they soon will. Hell, I'm practically asking for it.

Sometimes I don't mow my yard on time. I know that must bug them on occasion. It's gotten bad enough sometimes that a hemp community of hippies could have moved in and I wouldn't have known. There could be guitar strumming going on along with pagan rituals and I would have thought that the crickets had unionized and were beginning a mass revolt. Dr. Livingston, I presume, would have been living in there. But that is not why they are going to hate me.

I leave my trashcan out for 2 days sometimes. It's been known to happen. I don't know why I do this but I know that I do it. It's like some weird cosmic protective force that prevents me from lugging my ass out to the street to pull it in. I will drive by it several times a day and think "Man, I got to get that thing in." But then I don't because the sweet allure of Xbox gaming calls my name. I may have a problem.

I answer the door in my underwear, but let's be honest here, this is more of a treat than a reason to dislike me. Maybe one day I'll ditch the wife-beater T-shirt and show a little man boob as well.

I don't buy your kids 20 pounds of rock salt he is selling for boy scouts. Now if he offered to shovel my driveway for 3 bucks, then we would have a deal. I ask you, where is the work ethic of the youth these days? And when your other kid comes by selling girl scout cookies I only buy 1 box because I just can't resist the sweet, sweet call of Thin Mints.

I park in the driveway, my dogs bark during the day, the Halloween pumpkin was out way too long I don't go to the neighborhood parities, I'm pretty sure I'm a phony when I say hi to you and I check out your wife when she walks by my house.

Yes, all these things are reasons to not like me as a neighbor. I'm working on it. I'm in therapy. Dr. Beer and I are making progress. But none of these are the reasons why they truly don't like me. I'm guessing that it's because of my beliefs on Christmas.

Egg nog, presents, tree, good will toward men, getting trashed at the office party. I believe in all these things. I believe in getting up super early on Christmas morning going through your brother's stocking first to make early trades that he may not agree with. I believe in holiday cookies so sugary that you will get diabetes. I believe in fruit cake because it is edible AND a weapon.

But most of all, I believe in a tacky Christmas.

And nothing says tacky like houselights overdone. My neighbors, for the most part, pay people to put up lights. This bugs me on many levels. They are totally missing the point of putting up lights. It's about getting out there in the cold and cussing. It's about convincing yourself that the electrician doesn't know as much as you do. It's about hanging from the roof while also hiding that fact from your wife because she would freak out. That's Christmas.

My neighbors put up nice very well coordinated displays. There's usually a baby Jesus hanging around somewhere. A wreath or two tastefully done. The Christmas tree is perfectly centered in the middle of the street windows and coordinates with what is going on outside. And all the lights, from tree to house, are white. They all point in the same direction. They all stand like perfect little soldiers harking the angels in. In short, they are very, very boring.

The result is that each house looks exactly the same. Where's the creativity? If this were a painting, it would be motel art. It would be motel art that they hang in the men's bathroom, opposite the urinal. And the urinal cakes would have more appeal than the motel art. I ask you, where is the fun in that?

Christmas is about fun, about joy, about over the top enthusiasm. It's not about looking good. It's about diversity. The diversity that 300 multicolored lights bring to a place. It's about them coming together and screaming to Santa, "I'm HERE! Bring me my loot!" That's Christmas. It's tacky and it's awesome.

And so I put up my main multicolored lights. I strung them around the garage door, around the porch and up on the roof. I hung them down rain gutters and twisted them around bushes. I mixed big multicolored lights with small multicolored lights. The left side of my house was looking naked when I ran out of lights and Hossmom has put me on a budget this year. So I pulled out my half working reindeer and put him on the left side. And as he looked lonely, I got a small wreath and put indoor lights on it and put it above it's head.

It screams tacky. It yells for someone to bring their car to my front yard and put it up on blocks. It is one 12-pack away from having one inflatable yard creature decked out in full glory front and center. Shocked I don't have one? I used to but Little Hoss gave it too many hugs 2 years ago and it popped. It was an 8 foot snowman named Princess Candycane, may she rest in peace.

And none of this matches the decor of the neighborhood. In fact, I would say it clashes. And it's awesome.

But I'm not done. No sir, not done at all.

My mother in law got me a contraption a couple of years ago and we have put it to us.

My lights now blink to music. That's right, I have the Bud Light house. At 7pm daily I invite you to attend the concert with the kids and I. We fire up the machine to Carol of the Bells and let it do it's magic. It's horrific. One side blinking, the other side dark. But wait, on the next note it all lights up to the pulsating beat. And the kids love it. They can't wait to turn it on. My wife came out to look and got to embarrassed because cars were slowing and staring. She had to go inside. But the kids, the kids love. Now they know what Christmas is all about.

The only thing that I am missing is the soft glow of electric sex in the window.


  1. Dear Fans, I love my daughter very much and am in awe of her fortitude regarding Hossman's love of all things tacky, but there limits (mine). So please do not, do not, help him along and supply the missing "art" to place in the window. For if he puts it up I will have fall on the grenade and water a plant and accidently knock the art over and Hossman's and my peace on earth (which to years to negotiate) will come to an end.

  2. My husband agrees with you about people who pay to put up Christmas lights. He also says they are missing the point. He says you have to suffer for the lights. Amen.

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  4. Please take pictures,..this is too good to miss.