When I was a boy in Winooski, Vermont, there was an unspoken rivalry in the neighborhood over who got their Christmas lights up first. Nobody, of course, put up lights before Thanksgiving. That would be rushing the season and absurd to boot.
But one year my mother, who had a strong artistic streak, carved our pumpkins and, instead of candles, put a colored electric bulb in each. The kind that went on Christmas trees, one orange and one yellow. They looked great. If you carve your own pumpkins, I recommend you try it some year.
We didn't know that down at the bottom of the street, a competitive soul looked up and, since it was too distant to see the pumpkins, saw only the colored lights.
The next year in early October, a week before we set out pumpkins, our competitive neighbor had his house covered with Christmas lights!
All of which is prelude to this:
Today we -- by which, of course, I mean Marianne -- put out our Christmas lights. That's a picture of some of them up above.