Thursday, December 08, 2011

Organizing the Troops


I think it was in August, the hot desiccating month of August when I slowed to a crawl at the Vienna city limits and saw the sign: "Yard Sale." Out in front of the late 1970s ranch style house were no fewer than 30 plastic Santa Claus lawn ornaments, the vintage type Santas, the kind with little incandescent bulbs inside of them that light up at night. The ranch house on Hwy. 63 outside of Vienna is always a welcome sight during the holdays; starting in late November, the elderly couple who have lived there for many years begin setting out literally hundreds of plastic figurines, mostly Santas, but also snowmen, the Holy Family (surrounded by snowmen), enormous candy canes, the three Wise Men (located on the opposite side of the yard from the Holy Family throughout Advent, of course). For the past three years, the number of Santas has continued to increase. When I saw the Yard Sale sign, I panicked. I asked everyone I knew if the Santa house in Vienna had been sold, if the elderly couple's kids decided to stop the tradition of light up Santas, if the elderly couple just couldn't afford the electric bill and all those danged blanged extension cords going all over the yard.

A sigh of relief this week as I once again slowed from 70 to 35 mph at the first sign of the Vienna city limits and beheld not 100 Santas, but a tripled, ever-burgeoning population of plastic light up Santas (and snowmen, a Holy Family, the three Wise Men, and candy canes). I'm not a lawn ornament person, and didn't grow up in a family fascinated with lawn ornaments, but I'm transfixed by the Vienna Santa Army. I really appreciate the spirit of the holidays this couple portrays by populating their sprawling fescue lawn with plastic ornaments. This year, unlike the past three years, the Santas are all in a straight line, a phalanx of Santas just south of the highway right-of-way. I think the Santas are organizing a coup. I think the elderly couple- spied setting out more Santas earlier this week -are sending us a message. The Santas are truly an organized force this year, an army of Christmas cheer. The message is loud and clear: the rows of light up Santas are warning us, imploring us to be ye of good cheer during Christmastide. Let not the frustrations of daily toil and stupid politics wreak havoc on this wonderful season when cookies are meant to be shared and late nights spent drinking egg nog with fancy rum by the bright C7 lights adorning the cedar sawed down at dusk in Phelps Co.

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edlohmann said...
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