This is our first year in our new neighborhood, and we're learning it's got some quirks. Mostly endearing quirks, but quirks nevertheless.
One of these quirks is that there's a particular street, right off of ours, that goes entirely insane every holiday. It's collective; it's not one person, but neither is it any sort of homeowners' association or anything like that. It's just a block full of really dedicated, apparently really bored people who get together and do stuff to their houses in the way I always thought suburbanites only did in bad Hollywood movies.
A couple of examples:
Apparently, this street makes the local newspapers more often than not each year, not only for the Disneyland decorations, but also for the fact that they hire a Santa Claus and hand out free hot chocolate to everybody in the neighborhood every December 16th.
Personally, I think it's kind of neat to live near a street like this. But I'm glad I don't live on it - that's just too much pressure every year. Our house at the moment has just one pathetic little string of icicle lights hanging from the gutter - that's about all we've got the time, energy and money for at the moment.
We do also have a real Christmas tree (our first ever), with presents underneath and everything, which I may as well post up - it's a little thin this year, but we're just getting started:
By the way, the Japan scanning project is still happening - just taking longer than I expected. The office room is now in full effect, though, and my scanner's chugging along eating its way through all the brochures, pamphlets, tickets, maps and whatever else I picked up in Japan. Hopefully I'll finish this weekend.