Griswolding My House

Welcome to the Surfing Pizza 2020 Christmas Countdown! I’m a writer working my way through the weirdest holiday season in my life, so join me every day with a cup of coffee. I’ll have some words and thoughts for you.

I declared 2020 the year I was going to Griswold my house. It really meant I was going to buy an entire whole extra strand of lights. I always have a cognitive dissonance between Christmas lights in my head versus Christmas lights in real life. It’s like how I picture getting a suntan will leave me bronzed all over when it’s only my elbow getting extra red.

Once, in 2008, I was quoted in a super local newspaper in somewhere far like Minnesota. They asked about my thoughts on Christmas decorating. I thought I was on my way to making it as some sort of Christmas tastemaker, but now here I am, a dozen years later, still struggling my way through hanging a single strand of lights.

We have a high roof. It’s like having a bad shoulder or a bum knee. It’s the reason I wasn’t born a gifted athlete — my bum knee. It’s the reason I’ll never truly go full Griswold – my high roof. I’m also short. I barely reach 5 foot 3. My roof and I are like that movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.

I don’t have a ladder that can reach the roof, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to physically wield the 50 foot aluminum beast into decorating submission. This year, I thought I was going to get smart. I bought one of those telescoping light-hanging poles. Of course it was useless. Standing on the very top of the ladder, at the highest point of ground, with the pole extended at full length, I was still just tippy-touching the gutters. Sigh.

(A lot of women find Danny DeVito wildly attractive, right?)

Last night I played Christmas music on the radio as I hung the outdoor lights. I enjoyed the You Get What You Get madness of the radio. No curated playlists of my favorite Christmas classics. The radio means you’re on a rollercoaster of commercials for laser hair removal, the Christmas Shoes song about mom dying, and a jazzy boozy Buble cover of Jingle Bells.

The neighbors were hanging their lights as well. It was a balmy 62 degree night in the suburbs of Baltimore. The kids ran around in the dark playing flashlight tag, asking if Christmas was the day after Thankgiving, trying to help by haphazardly placing the vintage blow molds around the yard. Older tween kids rode on their bikes, trying to catch some of the childhood excitement. It was kind of dreamy and wonderful. Maybe it was the Christmas spirit, who knows.

Pics of my Griswold House tomorrow. Plus the epic conclusion in the saga of the light hanging pole: Will Home Depot Let Me Return A Giant Ass Pole With No Packaging?

5 thoughts on “Griswolding My House

  1. We hung our lights this weekend as well. Luckily our house is only one story so I’m able to get on the roof with only mild anxiety about plummeting to my death. We’re still miles away from being the Griswolds but it’s better than nothing!

    Also, I’ve returned all sorts of things to Home Depot, they’ll probably let you return the pole :)

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