Last night, after FREE! dinner at Panera (coupon!), Forrest and I were driving around looking at Christmas lights. Shepherd was passed out in the back seat, clearly not understanding or caring for the lights. Most normal people drive around trying to find beautifully decorated homes so that they can say things like "oooooo" and "ahhhhhh". But we like to buck that trend.
It started two years ago in Raleigh, NC. One particularly beautiful night, we decided to drive around town to look at Christmas decorations. That night, would forever change the way we searched for the best and brightest. You see, there was this one house, on a busy road. The home was dark, and undecorated. There were several trees in the front yard, and one giant oak tree that's branches hung over the road, forming a cool canopy in the summer, a bright ceiling in the fall, and a delicate cathedral in the winter. The tree was beautiful during the day, as it's branches stretched for the warmth of the sun from the coolness of the earth. You would never in a million years the horror that ensued at night. That cool winter's eve, we set out for a neighborhood close by that we knew would have beautiful lights. As we traveled, in the distance, we saw something bright, something shining, something splendidly horrific. This tree was strung with several strings of different color lights in a such a haphazardously way, that it looked as though an elf had vomited. I looked at Forrest and said, "Does that look like Elf Vomit to you?" He laughed, and we both laughed, and laughed, and laughed. We may have even turned around several times because, like a train wreck, you cant' help but watch.
So that evening, we drove around, not trying to find the most beautiful, but the most horribly decorated homes in Raleigh, looking for "Elf Vomit". I can honestly say that it was a million more times more fun than looking at clean, crisply decorated homes, with neatly manicured lawns. We laughed, and debated on the criteria that musts be met for something to be labeled Elf Vomit. For two years now, we have enjoyed driving around town, searching for evidence of Elves, and taking joy in others inabilities to decorate.
Last night, we stumbled upon something so horrific, that we stopped our car, and sat in silence. There are no words to describe what we saw, and we have yet to coin a phrase. I had no camera, so we plan on driving by again tonight for pictures. There, before our eyes, was a house with every square inch of the yeard covered in antique, plastic light up christmas statues and other gloriously tackey moving, lit toys. The giant fir tree in the front yard was strung with lights that made the tree appear as though it was wearing a pinstripe suit. The roof was covered in lights and a giant santa with his reindeer prancing capped off the display. Forrest and I looked at one another, and looked back at the home. Never have I felt more joy than at that moment, when I gazed upon the ugliness of the decorations. It was so ugly, it was almost beautiful. It reminded me of the time my family went looking a lights, and my father would click his tongue and say, "Tacky, tacky, tacky" and I would cry and say, "But Daddy, it's beautiful!"
But this got me thinking. How many of you enjoy looking at "tacky" decorations? And surely there are those of you who have homes in your neighborhoods that are awe-inspiring in their hideousness. I though it'd be fun to collect pictures of these homes, and put together a gallery of "tackiness" for us to share in this joy together. E-mail me your pictures by Friday, December 15 at corinny[at]gmail[dot]com (replace the at and the dot). I'll try to get the album together and posted by next Sunday night. I can't WAIT to see your pictures. Also, in order to spice things up, we're going to hold a contest. Based on nothing more than personal opinion, and years of appreciation for tacky lights, the winner of this contest will receive something wonderful. I'm going to keep the prize a secret, but trust me, it's glorious. :) So get out there, get hunting, and report back here with what you find... :)
(Oh, and I'll try to get our pictures up tonight late tonight so you can see some samples).