This is one of the most important facts about me: I hate snobbery in all its forms. Fashion snobs, literary snobs, class snobs; Nashville is crawling with music snobs. Mention Toby Keith in certain company and see the looks you get. The very last time I cracked open a Nashville Scene was quite a few years ago; it was the “You Are So Nashville” edition. One of the winners that year: “You are so Nashville if you think Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant”. Someone thought that was funny, and the folks at the Scene liked it enough to give it a prominent place in the article. Goodbye, snobs!
I’ll tell you a quick story. In high school, I didn’t lack for friends. But looking back, I realize that all my friends were misfits, the “weird kids”, all those people who did not fit into any of the social groups that high school society tries to force people into. Back then, it was the jocks, freaks, brains, preppies and the “band people”. None of my many friends fit into any of these categories. And, I see now, for some reason they looked to me as some kind of de-facto leader. I guess I’ve always been overprotective of the victims of snobbery.
Back to the here and now. Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of blog posts about “bad” or “tacky” Christmas decorations. This seems to be the current trend in snobbery. Those rubes! They have a lit, hollow plastic Joseph and Mary! A Rudolph inflatable snow globe? Save us from Dollar General! Too many lights, too many cheap plastic Nativity scenes, unmatched colors – these are mortal Christmas light fashion sins, apparently. I feel like I’m in high school again.
If you want to complain about the commercialization of Christmas, or the effect of all those lights on the environment, that’s one thing. I might even agree with you. But that’s not the tone I’m hearing. No, most of the posts about “bad” Christmas lights seem straight out of the Nashville Scene. You can almost hear the snicker.
Each snicker target has a human being behind it. Perhaps their intention was to out-do the neighbors, but that’s not for us to say. All we know is that they spent a lot of time setting up their tacky decorations because they wanted to expres…something. I refuse to doubt their sincerity.
I could go all “Christmas Shoes” on you; I was told a story last night about one of the people that seems to go overboard (in decorating their house) that would absolutely break your heart. But I’d rather appeal to your better nature without applying guilt trips.
Look at it this way: if you take a 4 year old child to see some of these houses, what is their reaction? Do they recoil in horror at the tackiness of it all? Or do their faces light up as bright as the decorations themselves, as they say in a half-whisper, “wow…”.
Maybe the children have it right, and maybe that’s why they seem to enjoy Christmas so much more than the rest of us.