Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reindeer Games

When the holiday season arrives,
some people get giddy with excitement.
They love the season so much,
that not only do they "deck the halls,"
they also dress up a few other things too.
Here's a house tied up with a bright red bow:
photo courtesy of

I suppose it all started with people dressing up themselves first.
Men would wear red or green or both.
Decades ago, there was a man
who wore bright green pants and a bright red shirt every Christmas.
He didn't seem to be a particularly upbeat guy,
so I was never sure if he was deliberately trying to look like a poinsettia
or if it was just accidental.

In his defense, many men do choose holiday apparel, if less vibrant;
perhaps they put on Christmas-colored socks
or don a tie with Santas or candy canes,
maybe a pullover sweater with a snowflake motif across the chest,
but they usually don't go as far as women do.

Women have always been able to gild themselves more than men could.
For the season, some make a pilgrimage to craft stores for supplies,
then decorate sweatshirts and sweaters with Christmas symbols
like Santa, elves, Christmas trees, and reindeer--
all over-frosted with puff paint, glitter, sequins, little bells, and ribbons.

But it soon became apparent that decorating houses and clothing wasn't enough.
People started to festoon their cars and trucks
with a cheery Christmas wreath on the grill.
Fair enough.
But from there, things got rapidly out of hand.

Now there is a newer trend:
dressing one's vehicle to make it look like a reindeer.
This involves two large chenille or soft felt antlers 
protruding from both the driver's and passenger's doors,
and in a nod to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
one very shiny red "nose" on the front grill of the car.
There are a couple of photos of a reindeer car
on this blogpost by Kathleen Kirk:

Just when I thought I'd seen it all,
yesterday I found myself in a parking garage next to a car
that had what looked to me like a couple of very large pig ears
sticking out  of the windows.

I had to think a minute:
how did pig ears have anything to do with Christmas?
I tried to look casual as I walked to the front of the car
and glanced over at the grill.
And there affixed was a small red- and green-striped elf hat.
Considering the size of the piggish elf ears,
I would have expected the elf hat to be much larger.
But I give them high points for breaking out of the car-as-reindeer mold.
Here's a photo of an elf car wearing the kit, on sale at

One would think it would end there.
It didn't.
Driving home last night,
I was behind a car with what appeared to be a small decorated box
dangling from the exhaust pipe.
After we stopped for a traffic light, I was able to see what it was:
a small gingerbread house.
From the tail pipe.

Americans' creativity--and willingness to embarrass ourselves--
gives us a certain charm.
So I can't wait to see what some innovator comes up with next.
Perhaps someone will figure out how to make their car look like a Yule log.
Or a fruitcake.

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