Dec 14, 2006

Dyslexic and waiting for Satan

Christmas time in Athens. The shops are calling out to us with their bright lights and fancy window displays, luring us into the 'giving' spirit, whilst a slow thumping of "buy, buy, buy" merrily beats in our ears. Once upon a time, you could seek refuge from the unremitting holiday spirit by heading back home, to quiet, low/middle class suburbia, my neighborhood. But... what's this? What's with ALL the exterior decorations and multi-colored twinkling lights everywhere?

For the past several years, the Greek market has been flooded with -formerly unaccustomed- outdoor Christmas decorations, creating a merchandising illusion that it's expected of us to expand the festive cheer outside our home's threshold.

Sadly, Greek customers have taken the bait and what was once customary for Greek homes to have a frugal main entrance decoration -a sparing wreath or new-year talisman- has now turned into a show of flaunting Christmas lights and gaudy holiday figurines. Look up at the stacked apartment buildings and witness denizens' efforts to bring on the Christmas cheer with bulb-streamers draping the balconies and Santa Clauses hanging for dear life on the verandas.

Personally, I see no need for energy-wasting exterior lights and tawdry ornaments. Why squander natural resources (and money, for that matter) for something that is well,... useless?

I'm old-fashioned (and globally warmed). We've hung the fabric wreath Daughter#1 made in kindergarten for us on the main entrance. I'll let Mother Nature take care of the rest of the outdoor decorations if she decides to snow in our part of the world.

Since it's the holiday season in many parts of the world and a time to reflect about Peace ON Earth, and Peace WITH the Earth, read Greenpeace's 12 steps to a greener holiday season.



melusina said...

I can't help it - Christmas lights - year round - are my one happy frivolous thing(tm).

Of course, there is gaudy and then there is gaudy. We don't hang them outside but we might if we had a way to do it, although I prefer the understated outside look.

But I love Christmas lights, and use them year round. Not just for the lights, but I honestly think I am single handedly responsible for using up most the electricity in Greece. Not that I'm actually proud of it, especially when we get our bill.

But I love, love LOVE a simple wreath on a door. Very few people seem to hang wreaths anymore.

nuntius said...

Dear Flubby
This is Santa!
If you don't like the way greeks decorate the exterior of their houses with millions of lights then you are possessed and you worship the devil. Probably a communist too. No gift for you this year. If you want me to come to your house too next year make sure that it will look like Alou Fun Park.
Santa Claus

Flubberwinkle said...

Melusina, OK. I must ask. What do you mean Christmas lights "year round"? Does that mean you never take them down? Because one year things were so hectic that it was almost the end of January by the time I got around to UNdecorating. Darn kids kept lighting the tree, neighbours thought we were nuts.
Happy holidays!

Dear Santa,
I will be protesting your unjust letter by peacefully demonstrating outside my light-less home.
Bring me that magic diet pill I keep asking for every year and then... MAYBE I'll play by your rules. No lights until then.
Best regards,
Kales Giortes Nuntius!

melusina said...

By year round I mean we string them up in the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and use them as ambient light for movie watching and, um, other things. ;)

The Christmas shop here is a veritable nightmare of all the things you detest, and every day they seem to get new crap to adorn your lawn with. The other day they had giant plastic camels!