In a year like this, mid-November is not too early to deck the halls. (Unsplash photo)

In a year like this, mid-November is not too early to deck the halls. (Unsplash photo)

COLUMN: Let there be lights – lots and lots of lights

In a dismal year like this, it’s not too soon to decorate for Christmas

No one has ever accused me of getting overly excited about holidays – not as a grown-up, at any rate.

In fact, I’ve been called a “boo-humbug” – more than once – because I think that unless you’re young enough to go door-to-door, soliciting free mini-chocolate bars or threatening minor acts of vandalism, there’s no valid reason to cover yourself in plastic warts and fake blood on Oct. 31. (It’s an unpopular opinion, but I stand by it).

Using St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink until you’re wearing a lampshade as a hat because some guy (allegedly) drove a bunch of snakes out of Ireland 1,500 years ago? Seems fishy to me.

And I will admit that, in years past, I’ve even been a wee bit judgy about the folks who start celebrating the Christmas season weeks and weeks (and weeks) in advance.

This year, though, I’m turning over a whole new leaf – probably holly.

I’m sure that all the party people who felt cheated out of the opportunity last month to hit the club in their “sexy PPE” or “provocative vial of vaccine” costumes, or whatever, will agree that what would improve this smoldering trash heap of a year is a celebration.

Unfortunately, like everything else that’s happened since mid-March, this, too, will require compromise.

There will be no office parties or parades, no sitting on Santa’s lap, no filling your house with third cousins-twice removed on Christmas Eve.

What we can still do, though, is decorate – string up lights and inflate giant lawn ornaments as if our very sanity depends on it.

Now that Remembrance Day has passed, if you’re ready to deck the halls, I say, knock yourself out. Assemble the artificial tree and get it glowing in the living room window; affix plastic Rudolph and his pals to the roof and make sure his red nose is (safely) wired up and blinking brightly; line your walkway with giant plastic candy canes, if you must.

Whether it’s a classic holiday display, done with evergreen boughs, velvet bows and white lights or a multi-coloured visual yukaflux, blaring the Chipmunks holiday album, just give us somewhere to refocus our attention for a moment or two.

With a number of traditional holiday happenings cancelled, curtailed or limited to by-appointment-only attendance this year, one thing we will still be able to do at the drop of a fuzzy red hat is head out for a walk, or gather our bubble into a vehicle and tour the neighbourhood, evaluating each home owner’s efforts at one-upsmanship.

As concerns go in 2020, holiday decorations may seem a bit trivial, but the truth is, anything that can put a smile on someone’s face or take their mind off their day-to-day worries for a little while, is worth some effort.

Let’s face it, it’s been a rough year so far, and the dark and dreary winter months ahead don’t promise much relief.

You want to double down on your good karma? Add a donation box to the mix and raise a few bucks for a worthy cause.

No doubt, many of you are way ahead of me on this, having already climbed your ladders, strung your strings and added a bit of sparkle to your street. Good for you – thank you.

And, you know what? Don’t even worry about taking them down again until St. Patrick’s Day. At that point, with any luck, the light from all those naked lamp bulbs will be enough to carry us through to the spring.

Brenda Anderson is editor of the Peace Arch News.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lacey, a palomino paint, is in “amazing” shape now, compared to when she was rescued in August 2015. (Leanne Peniuk photo)
BC SPCA’s horse-rescue program offers equine intervention

Book Rescue Me raises funds, awareness for animal-welfare agency

Hugh Dobbie’s South Surrey-based tech business Yare Media was recently acquired by California’s Visaic Inc. (SFU photo)
South Surrey tech company acquired by California business

Hugh Dobbie founded Yare Media in 2016, and ‘will remain involved’

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Mayor Darryl Walker gives a welcoming hug to Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell at the inaugural meeting of the current White Rock council in 2018. (Alex Browne photo)
White Rock council under fire for inaugural prayer

BC Humanist Association charges city violated Supreme Court ruling two years ago

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Most Read