Always be careful what you wish for. Last year, when I secretly decorated the house for Christmas (as documented in a recent issue of The Boston Globe Magazine) I was filled with a sense of personal triumph.
Ha HA! I thought. The house is decorated exactly the way I like it!
Little did I know that last year’s bit of derring-do would lead to a new family tradition: I am now The Official Holiday Decorator. In other words, my wife no longer cares where the carolers go.
So while Ellen educated young minds and Alex nursed his post nasal Niagara Falls, I set up the village, manger, Santas, sleds, fake packages, and our ever-growing platoon of Lenox snowmen.
I decided that my new decorating responsibility also included throwing out all the holiday doodads that sprinkle glitter over my freshly vacuumed floor. Which reminds me:
Dear Extended Family,
If you send me a card with glitter on it, it’ll go in the trash before it gets out of the envelope. Merry Christmas!
Your pal, Mike
Long story short, decorating is a big job, but I do enjoy it. And, once in a while, a holiday decoration can create some fun, unexpected puzzle time.
Ellen bought these blocks at a post-holiday sale last year. She packed them away before they could properly go on display so I didn’t know what they were supposed to spell.
“NOEL” seemed like a logical place to start.
But the end result left something to be desired.
I could also spell out “SILENT.” But, what was left didn’t make much sense.
It did, however, fill my brain with amusing images of a tow truck driver who moonlights as a mime.
This one captures the spirit of a contemporary Christmas…
This one not so much…
It does, however, conjure up images of a charming fishing village — like Cabot Cove, but without all of the serial killing.
By this point I had figured out that the blocks were supposed to spell “LET IT SNOW,” but I no longer cared. I was having too much fun.
Mmm! Just the way Mom used to make it!
I support this cause.
And then there’s this one:
I often feel this way when I need to write an amusing blog post the morning after I spend half the night decorating the house.
I better go sleepy now.