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‘Tis the season

2010 December 6

So darling husband, Little D and I have slowly been settling into our brand new home over the past month. Our first home. Our starter home. The home that in a few short weeks, will welcome numero deux – and Santa Claus – with open arms.

This weekend, we got down to the serious business of decorating said abode for the holiday season. With all the transition happening in her little 3.5 yr long lifespan, we didn’t want Little D to miss an ounce of Christmas cheer, so despite the burgeoning belly, busted budget, and seemingly unsurmountable stress levels, we were committed to making this a Christmas to remember for her.

What no one mentioned is that the serious business of decorating your own home can also be a daunting business. That string of white lights that used to adorn our apartment balcony rail for the blasé onlookers of West LA to see and admire? Barely covered 1/4 of the space around our fancy, new 2-car garage door. That entryway? Needed a halo of something. The master balcony that, until now, screamed romance and luxury, now screamed “light me!”

And so it began. Endless trips to Target, Lowe’s, CVS and repeat, where we hunted and hunted for the right assortment of white lights. And more white lights. And a few more…white lights. We love us some white lights.

Problem is, our neighbors down the street went for a different approach. Rudolph on the fence. Santa on the roof. Elves scurrying in between. And this little blue penguin, front and center on the front lawn.

That damn little blue penguin.

At first sight, Little D was in love. “Look at the little penguin…look at how cute it is!!!” She ran across their lawn, she poked, she prodded, she did her own little penguin walk. She gazed up at us with the biggest, happiest Christmas eyes we’ve ever seen…”I want a penguin, too!”

Darling husband and I looked at each other. Looked back at the penguin. Looked back at each other. We don’t do penguins, we don’t do Santa in his sleigh, we don’t do rudolph with a 180 degree rotating head. We do white lights. Simple, clean, minimally merry…white lights. Maybe a red poinsettia to add some spice. That’s it. That’s what we do.

We sighed. We want Little D to have visions of sugarplums and all that good stuff, but we also have a vision, and it’s a little more haute, haute, haute than ho, ho, ho.

We tried to get her excited about the white lights. We pointed out the poinsettia. We even broke the mold and did the icicle thing to illicit a little extra cheer. But all she wanted was the damn blue penguin.

So we are trekking back to Target. The garage door? Surrounded by delicate, delightful white lights. The entryway? Housing one beautiful poinsettia, extra large, in a deep, velvety red. The master balcony? Adorned with white icicles, lined up with precision and style.

The backyard that no one sees? A penguin’s paradise!

Quite possibly my favorite decorative "don't"...courtesy of Clark Griswold.

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