The Christmas Light Cutoff Is Here
Just a reminder: we are fast approaching the cutoff for all Christmas decorations. Do it now, and avoid the shame of being one of those houses where the crocuses have to nudge aside a deflated, inflatable Santa. Oh, I can get a real bee in my bonnet about this!
There are some people in Mahoosuc Mills who never seem to take their decorations down. (White Hebert? I’m talking to you!) I’m sure this happens where you live, too. Folks who figure they went to all that trouble to put them up, why take them down, just to do it all over again next year? Thing is, as the years go by, the weather works on them Christmas lights, and what you end up with is a tree decorated with three strands of lights and only the middle one working, which is a tremendous source of irritation to me. Not only that, it causes trouble in my relationship. I’ll say to my husband, Charlie, “I can’t believe Whitey Hebert doesn’t do something about that tree!”
And Charlie says, “You say that every time we drive past.”
“Well, it’s just not right.”
“Ida, it ain’t going to happen. It doesn’t bother them enough to do anything about it.”
“I know, but I’m just making a point.”
“And you make that point every time we drive by.”
“I do not!”
“Yes, you do.”
And it just goes downhill from there.
Anyway, broken lights left up in the yard are irritating as all get out, but some people leave their indoor tree up too long, and that’s just plain dangerous!
Awhile back, we had an incident. In March. March! I know this first hand. It was about 11:30 on a Saturday night when Charlie’s volunteer fireman beeper went off, and he headed to the station. The first one there gets to drive the truck, so he always takes off like a bat out of hell.
The fire was at Brenda Fox’s place, a trailer (and I mean trailer, not mobile home) she was renting up on Long Pond Rd. Charlie and them arrived to find Brenda, in a nightgown, crying in the driveway. A fella dressed in boxers and a t-shirt was holding her, trying to calm her down. Once the smoke settled, the story came out.
Apparently, Brenda was having an affair with a long haul trucker based out of Worchester. This is while her husband Roger, or Roger Dodger as he’s known in town, is up to Thomaston doing a little time for drug dealing. So, Brenda and her trucker friend were necking on the couch in front of the Christmas tree, bathed in the romantic glow of the Christmas lights when the tree caught fire. Since it had been up for four months, that tree went like paper, and they had to scramble out quick! It’s a small town, and Brenda knew she had to fess up, because eventually someone was going to spill the beans to her husband. So Mrs. Fox had to tell Roger Dodger that not only did she burn down the trailer and all their stuff, but she was seeing a trucker on the side. From then on, when someone round here does something stupid, we call it “pulling a Foxy.”
The moral of the story? Take your decorations down, before they take you down! What is the cutoff date for Christmas decorations, you ask? Groundhog’s Day, February 2nd. And that includes wreaths.
That’s if for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)