Throughout the Halloween season, I listened to Punkin repeatedly proclaim every house within twenty miles of our own as "pwettiuh than owuhs". My eight newly planted mums, festive basket spilling over with fall like foliage, and plethora of pumpkins placed around the house did nothing to satisfy her desire for over-the-top decor in honor of the scariest holiday of the year. I put full blame for her distress at our lack of showmanship on our baby sitter's neighborhood for their award winning worthy displays including one grand house which featured a large spider web (complete with two HUGE spiders) covering the entire front of the home.
By the time Thanksgiving approached and houses around town started showing signs of Christmas decorations, Punkin amped up her distress at the utter embarrassment of our totally unadorned house. Although I adore tastefully lit homes of others, I have never been a big fan of putting up outdoor Christmas decorations for my own house (hello, bitterly cold Illinois November wind!). This year, though, I decided that this was a sacrafice I was going to have to make for the emotional well being of my youngest daughter.
Sunday evening when the decorating was finally complete and the sun had set leaving the skies dark and mysterious, I brought Punkin out into the front yard. From her vantage point by our mailbox, she turned toward our house, let out a dramatic gasp, and with her hands clasped theatrically at her chest proclaimed, "Dis is the most beautiful sing I have evuh seen".
There were glees of delight when she got a look at our newly purchased snowman up close.
And when she woke up Monday morning to the sight of our fancy tree she could barely contain herself. The magnificence was almost too much for her to bear.
These sentiments lasted less than 24 hours, however, for by the time I picked her up from the sitter's yesterday afternoon, the neighborhood was alive with extravagant light displays from rooftops to curbside. Just this afternoon, as tiny flakes of snow flurried around her, I witnessed my child slowly turn in two complete circles with eyes wide in wonder at the beauty around her. Immediately after dragging her into the car out of the cold and away from the beauty of thousands of tiny lights, I heard Punkin state bitterly, "Owuh house isn't as pwetty as dos".
I attempted to explain the beauty of understated elegance but she wasn't buying it.