Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Outdoor Decorations -

Sub Title: HAVE A VERY MERRY DUCT-TAPE CHRISTMAS!!!

I do not hang lights on the outside of my house for Christmas. I have nothing against houses with light displays, in fact, I love to drive around and see all the homes decked out in festive lights and go "Ooh" and "Aah" with my family. However, I do not hang lights on my house because, let's face it - I am LAZY! You put the lights up and then a few weeks later you take them down again.  Seems like too much work to me for the payback. If I did hang lights on my home I would probably be like my old school friend, Stephanie, whose parents were also lazy. They never took the Christmas lights off the house.  In the middle of summer, directions to Stephanie's home went something like this:
"Turn left on Colorado and Right on Lewis. Go a few blocks until you see a house on your left with Christmas lights blazing brightly. Yep, middle of summer and the stupid Christmas lights are on. {Sigh} Makes my house really easy to find."
Yeah, that would be me...the old crazy lady who leaves her Christmas light up all year. Therefore, no lights on my house.

One year, when my twins were 14 or 15 years old, they decided they were being unduly punished by my laziness, and they deserved to have a house with Christmas lights, so one bright, shiny, warm December day I drove down our street to find my kids on the roof hanging ....

Before I go any further I have to explain some things about our household. We have always encouraged the boys to be creative, imaginative, and frugal. And my husband and children use duct tape to fix EVERYTHING. Trust me, I mean everything -
  • When the boys were in cloth diapers, we used duct tape to fix the slits and holes that eventually occur in plastic pants. Slap on some duct tape and they would be good for a few more months.
  • When the grommet tore on the vinyl shower curtain liner, we slapped on duct tape and punched a new hole and voila - a curtain good for a few more years.
  • Son Number 1 and a friend spent one summer building a pull behind your bike go-cart from skateboards, PVC pipe and quite a few rolls of duct tape.
  • Son Number 2 mended a hole in his $5.00 wallet with duct tape. He then mended the next hole, and the next, until he had completely covered the cheap wallet with duct tape. He carried that wallet all through junior high and high school. Cost of wallet $5.00. Cost of duct tape $12.00. Having a cool silver duct tape wallet - priceless.
  • Bike handles were mended with duct tape, dryer vents were mended with duct tape, even sneakers were mended with duct tape.
  • One year my boys wrapped my Christmas gifts completely in multiple layers of duct tape.
I am sure that you get the point. We went through a lot of duct tape over the past 25 years. I should have bought stock in the company the first time My Love Of My Life said "We can fix that with duct tape!"  I always bought duct tape in the large economy size, and it was always the first thing mentioned when I asked if anyone needed anything from the store.

Okay - I am sure that you have figured out where this is going. I am driving home on a bright, shiny, warm December afternoon and my kids and the neighbor's kids are on my roof, and I have Christmas lights hanging on my house. Not ones to be fazed by not having the right tools, the boys used DUCT TAPE to hang the lights when they could not find any clips.

Yep, I was the proud owner of a house with lights, and between every light was a large piece of duct tape holding the lights to the house and the roof. Imagine if you will - the serenity of small twinkling Christmas lights offset by the dull silver shine of DUCT TAPE!

And it that was not enough, they had written in letters 3 feet tall on my roof "Merry Xmas" in DUCT TAPE. Yep it was a very proud day for me. My house, publicly held together by DUCT TAPE. I was mortified to say the least.

I made them remove the 3 feet tall letters from the roof, and encountered yet another wonderful surprise. The heat of the day combined with the adhesive on the duct tape caused a chemical reaction that removed the top layer of the coating from my roof shingles. It did not take off much, just enough to cause the duct taped areas to be a few shades lighter. So even though the DUCT TAPE was off the roof, the MERRY XMAS was plainly visible for all to see for the next six months. I bet the astronauts on the space station looked down at Texas in March and wondered why that house had Merry Xmas on the roof!

So, while I love the look of houses that are decorated for the holidays,  if you don't mind I have to go hide the DUCT TAPE from my family and try to live down the year I did have lights on my house.







1 comment:

DianaR said...

I was laughing so much by the end of your post I almost spit out my coffee!! Sounds like YOU have a wonderful sense of humor to have lived with this all these years :-)