'Tis the season to be tacky...
I know it's all the fashion to "humbug" at the more plastiky
aspects of the festive season but I'm prepared to put up with a certain amount
of cheap jollity at Christmas.
Which is why I was sad to see that the
residents of some well-heeled area in the South of England are complaining
about their neighbour's Christmas lights.
This neighbour really has gone to
town mind you; huge illuminated Santas and Snowmen are suspended from the roof,
thousands of fairy-lights adorn the walls and the garden is full of wobbling
singing snowmen. The general impression given is of decorations so numerous and
so dense that they could be removed like a tea-cozy and placed elsewhere as a
free-standing tribute to Christmas and a demonstration of the resilience of the
Not tasteful I'll admit, but jolly!
The complaining neighbours probably have just one of those
boring candlestick things in the window and a sign that says "No Carol Singers"
on the front door, its Scrooge-like message illuminated by next door's 14,000
candela festive display.
While minimalism seems to be the mainstay of all
modern decorations, Christmas should be the exception to the rule.
Christmas should coax even the most humbugged of souls into the kind of
illuminatory excess that even the poor folk cocooned in the International Space
Station can enjoy.
Come on chaps, 'tis the season to be jolly!
have more and naffer displays on the high street. Let's applaud people who
really make an effort and expend vast sums of money on lights and the
electricity to run them. These people are the cheerleaders of tack!
We will be awarding accolades to the most over-the-top domestic
illuminations we see over the next few weeks and have some minimum standards
with which they must comply. These standards are internationally applicable and
are laid down by the Illumination Supererogation Organisation.
Each display must feature at least one enormous illuminated
snowman, the higher up he is placed, the better. Bonus points will be awarded
if the snowman is so precariously placed that he appears to defy the laws of
10 bonus points will be awarded for a sleigh "parked" on the
roof (reindeer included). In addition to this, 5 bonus points will be awarded
if one of the reindeer has a red flashing nose that poses a hazard to light
Artificial snow is a must, preferably falling
snow! Snow enhances the intensity of the display due to its reflective
Any garden tree or large bush which has no lights on it will
count against the display.
A joke pair of boots sticking out of the chimney is
10 bonus points will be awarded if a robin redbreast is placed
in a holly bush, on a postbox or atop a fencepost.
Any display which cannot be seen from several miles away will
Total power of the lights must be more than 5kW. The power
surge resulting from the activation of the illuminations should prompt every
video recorder in the street to permanently display the time as a blinking
"0:00". Manufacturers of video recorders have invested a lot of time and money
in adding this festive and appealing feature.
Wobbling singing snowmen all the way up the front garden path
will gain 1 point each.
The more bizarre the animated ornaments are the better. e.g. I
have seen a Christmas tree which does the rumba when switched on. Similar
monumentally innappropriate animated ornaments will earn large bonuses.
Any biblical references should be strenuously avoided.
Flashing lights should be sequenced so as to cause maximum
distraction to passing drivers.
Any music played must be of the lowest possible quality, both
in its rendition and its reproduction.
Lights should be tolerant of rain, hail, and wintery blasts.
Any illuminations that could not guide a ship into harbour in a force-nine gale
will be disqualified as not fit for their purpose.
I think that's about it. I'll be travelling the country armed
with my camera and dark glasses, hoping to report on some truly spectacular
set-pieces soon. You can send your pictures in too!
A typical example which loses points due to the
rather small snowman and the lack of anything on the roof.
© Winamop, DA & Weevil 2003
Read old page 94s here.