Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas time in South Philly

One funny thing about living in South Philly (there are many) is that the neighbors always let you know what holiday it is. As of now, 1 out of every 3 row homes are littered with Christmas cheer. Mine is not. I'm very nontraditional and I really don't care to spend my time adorning my house with lights. It's enough of a struggle to manage a 3 year old, let alone a twisty mess of lights. And at the same time? Whoa. Brain freeze. (Which is what you won't get when you enjoy a lovely gelato.)

These cats in South Philly go all out. Three story row homes are encircled in lights. Can you imagine the ladder they'd have to use? Candy canes in windows. Snowmen. Santa. You walk down a side street and I kid you not, a house has a speaker on their stoop playing nonstop Christmas music.

And it's like this for every holiday/season that's on the calender. January's all "new year" themed, of course. Lot's of babies in diapers and top hats and sashes. February has windows full of valentines and love and cupid and blech. March, St. Patrick fills the streets with green lights and leprechauns and the pots of gold we all wish for. April is awash with Easter bunnies and fuzzy ducks.

May is spring. Isn't President's day in the spring. Do I have to capitalize "president"? Or "spring"? So the windows are full of flowers and spring type stuff. It's also Cinco de Mayo. Now my neighbors don't actually decorate for this one, but sure do celebrate it like most Americans. You can tell by the collection of beer cans in the gutters and storm drains. June. I am now consulting my daughters Highlights calender. Just found out that Presidents Day in in February. I do remember seeing photos of Washington and Lincoln in the windows. No lights, though. But Flag Day is June and there's lots of flags.

Of course July brings out all sorts of red, white and blue. American flags are freakin' everywhere. It's all USA. USA. USA. And surprisingly, a South Philly fireworks show rivals the one at the Parkway (especially at New Years Eve). August/September are pretty boring. Maybe you'll find a beach ball or two in the window; maybe some pre-fall leaves. But I guess everyone needs a break b/c the killer months are a comin'.

October is Halloween and this is when things really start to get crazy. Pumpkins, skeletons, gravestones, witches, that house I mentioned before now has "scary" music playing. Neighbors are going all out! There's a house that has this HUGE inflatable spider on the front. My daughter really likes that one. Which then leads into November and I wish I could count how many Pilgrims I see in windows. And cornucopias. And leaves. And turkeys. And everything Fall. And as soon as Thanksgiving is over, Christmas roars in like a drunk Santa and blindsides you with Christmas cheer.

Okay. I'm taking my girl to see Santa (but she says she won't sit on his lap! Don't blame her.) And her response for when Santa asks what she wants for Christmas will be: a hat - Easiest Christmas EVER. Sure, we'll listen listen to all that Christmas music. But as for decorations... call me Scrooge. Call me Mayor McDuck. I'll just let my South Philly neighbors decorate for me.

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