The thing is, Americans are just really good at decorating. And it is a wee bit contagious. If you don't join in you begin to feel like a bit of a Grinch. Or Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Seikh etc.
I didn't just buy the light up snowman. I also purchased the sweet little "Joy" sign, a dog Christmas stocking (yes, as designated by the manufacturer) and snowflake lights. I haven't finished. I now look at the trees in our front yard from a decorating rather than horticultural perspective. And god dammit I am out to impress.
I am going to make a pudding if it kills me (there is a reasonable chance that it will) and might even attempt a Christmas cake. I have my Christmas tree table cloth (it is totally tasteful, promise). The children's monogrammed stockings have been hung. And in the next few days we will visit a Christmas tree "farm" (corner lot) to select a live tree after chucking the plastic tree that we brought with us from Australia. That plastic tree just did not make the grade in the cut throat world of decorating American style.
This Christmas will be our first in our new home. Last year we traveled home, celebrating a traditional Australian hot Christmas with family. I have to find a way to take away that little bit empty feeling I get at these special times of the year, and decorating shall be my therapeutic drug of choice.
Some might call my efforts excessive, but compared to the neighbours they will no doubt be considered an exercise in minimalism.