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December 7, 2013 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Snowzilla arrives. The season begins.

Kneeling Santa really has something to prey about now.

Let the rivalry begin.

Giant inflatable Snowman yard decoration

Jumbo sized, ignore Frosty at your own risk. Rudolf is hiding behind that tree…making his escape…

Snowzilla blew in last night.

“My inflatable Snowman is bigger than your inflatable snowman.”

(Compensation for misguided football team devotion?

Don’t look at that miserable team record – It’s a giant snowman!

Quick, hide the team banners, dear.)

Yes, it’s the annual toss the decorative laundry  deck the yards time.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great.

Scenery needs a little perking up now.

Festive lights merry the long dark nights

Don’t even need a flashlight when walking dog late…

Blinders maybe….and a sturdier leash.

The German hated kneeling Religious Santa.

Even though that display was subdued and silent.

May need to pull a Santa hat over her eyes to get that dog past the whooshing giant snowguy.

Every year, I promise.

(This may be the year.)

A sophisticated Christmas yard decoration.



(Insert elevated reasonable sounding logic here)

lump of Christmas lights

I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it: “Elegant simplicity full of meaning.”
That sounds lofty enough to shut them up?

Yep. Jumble all the outdoor light strings into a knot and toss them in the middle of the yard.

How long before rude notes and scowls do you think?

Or someone “helping” by putting them up while we’re out?

(Could be a research proposal. Perfect for grant writing. As good as shrimp on a treadmill.)

Just joking!

As soon as it stops drizzling and warms up, we’ll be dragging out all the extension cords.

But meanwhile we’ll bask in the warmth of the neighborhood’s efforts.

Marshmallows, anyone?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Posts of Christmas seasons past:

Hey, Santa. It's me, Molly. I'm being really good. Haven't eaten a window sill recently. No, I'm not standing on the coffee table. Oh, those are my paws. For good reason! it's my turn for the remote: Free Dog TV preview! Woo-hoo!"

Hey, Santa. It’s me, Molly. I’m being really good. Haven’t eaten a window sill recently. No, I’m not standing on the coffee table. Oh, those are my paws. For good reason! It’s my turn for the remote: Free Dog TV preview! Woo-hoo!”


  1. Carrie Rubin / Dec 7 2013 2:12 am

    Our outside Christmas decorations are hit and miss. Some years my husband gets them up, sometimes not. I feel I can’t risk sweetly reminding him about it too much lest I’m told to put them up myself. 😉 Luckily, our the inside of our house is always Christmas ready.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 7 2013 2:25 am

      You’ve got a good plan. Should have watched the weather reports here a little closer and made use of those balmy temps a few days ago. Now we’ll be dealing with cold and damp – but hey, that’ll make it more like Christmas, right? Nothing says happy holiday like red chapped hands. So if the posts and comments are showing up a little slow from here, you’ll understand… Thanks for playing in the snow


  2. LifeOfBun / Dec 7 2013 2:40 am

    You have so many cool massive decorations hehe I love it 😀 festive lights in the dark are my biggest joy during the holidays, I love them more than fireworks. They remind me of Tim Burton movies – specifically nightmare before christmas of course!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:35 pm

      Lights do make it more fun – especially with the dark grim weather we are having now. Tim Burton – that’s perfect – especially with the new garish LED lights. Thanks for hanging that comment here


  3. Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A. / Dec 7 2013 3:35 am

    The season of light–yay! It gets dark at 4:30 pm in the Pacific NW so the more twinkly and bright lights the better. What does Molly want for Christmas?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:38 pm

      Yeah, it’s getting much too dark too early with these storm systems. The lights – and humor of that giant snowman are quite welcomed. Molly wants it to stop raining so she can run in the yard again. It’s gotten to be something of a mud pit right now and she’s tired of having her feet wiped off. Hope you’re holiday season is jolly.


  4. roughseasinthemed / Dec 7 2013 8:12 am

    Partner thinks people who have lights outside are rich. I have no idea why, but there again I don’t remember anyone having outside lights so he may be right. Not really a British thing, or at least it wasn’t unless we have imported yet another American tradition. Brits tend to put trees in windows and leave the curtains open so (they can show off everyone can admire their trees.

    My boys like the pic of Molly and her assertiveness in controlling the remote. If we had a TV I’m sure it would be brought under Podenco control and tuned to Podenco stations. Podenco stations would have programmes about exploring, adventuring, chewing, destruction and napping. Molly would be invited to watch.


    • shoreacres / Dec 7 2013 7:03 pm

      That’s what my grandparents and parents did, too – tree in the window. Also, candles in the window. I know they were real candles for a while. Then I came along and they went electric. But they still looked welcoming. The past couple of years I’ve reverted – tree in the window, shining into the night. I like it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:48 pm

      What is really funny – people who are all “green” and eco-friendly during the year go nuts with electric lights for a month. There’s even some show about massive light displays on houses (seen ads for it). There’s a cost for that.
      Decorations used to be kid’s construction paper art work from school in everyone’s windows – and maybe a string of lights across the porch. After we lived in Williamsburg, my mom was all into red bows,simple garlands and tree in the window for a bit…no candles. Too risky.
      We still like things simply done – some years we don’t get much up…with this weather, we may only have red bows outside on the porch lights.
      Molly is getting really tired of being stuck inside…can just sleep so much. The preview of dog tv was helpful – she does like to watch the surfing dogs, and birds. The segments pretty much cover what Podenco control would request. The tree is up high again this year so she and the German can play when visits can be arranged…not sure what to do about the mountain goat maneuvers leaping from chairs to couch and back. (Don’t let Snow try that at home, Pippa!)


  5. katecrimmins / Dec 7 2013 2:34 pm

    On of our annual Christmas traditions is to drive around at night and laugh at the inflatables. Then the next morning we will see the deflated laundry on the grass! It’s makes it Christmas!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:50 pm

      We always drove around the areas of town with the big light displays every Christmas Eve when I was little. Now the inflatables are everywhere: instant impact and so easy. No wonder the stores have given up trying to created impressive holiday displays – can’t compete. Thanks for poking the puffy decorations with a comment


  6. easyweimaraner / Dec 7 2013 2:52 pm

    I like to decorate for christmas, but to remove all the things and to storage it in their boxes is a donkey work :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:53 pm

      Setting it all out isn’t bad if the weather is mild. Worse it trying to take it down and get it all dry so it can be packed away! Going to be one of those years, here. May not put all the lights up – too cold and raining…Molly would be concerned if we were outside too long and she’s not allowed to “help” Thanks for running through the holiday craziness


  7. Littlesundog / Dec 7 2013 3:10 pm

    I finally sold the last of our Christmas deco on a garage sale a few years back. We don’t entertain over the holidays, and we’re back here near the woods and no one really sees what we have put up in the past. Oh, but I love driving along the neighborhoods that do put up lights and deco… it’s a magical time of year!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 10:55 pm

      The nice thing about living far out in the country is that a single string of lights shines so brightly. I used to love traveling late to visit relatives and come across a brightly lit gate or small tree in the dark. It is fun to drive around and enjoy the lights. Thanks for turning on a comment


  8. shoreacres / Dec 7 2013 7:06 pm

    Funny thing is, I’ve been noticing a significant decline in the number of boat parade entries, and the complexity of the themes. A decade or two ago, it was a Big Deal. Now, not so much. Even the past five years it’s been significantly darker around SS marina. Even the town houses across the way were nearly dark last year. Economy? Perhaps. If someone wants a grant, they should propose a study on the relationship between Christmas lights and the economy. On the other hand, that might not work out so well in neighborhoods where the lights stay up all year round.

    One of the great advantages of putting the tree away with the lights still on it is that I can get that far with minimum effort. Getting it decorated? Another issue. But it’s the lights I like, anyway. I’ve done it for four years, and everything still is in place. Fingers crossed for next year.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:01 pm

      The boat parade has changed. Those that started it are less limber now – with other ways to spend time and energy? The last time I went, we were appalled at the crowd watching. Didn’t care anything about the decorations or boats – only screamed for candy and beads…they had pillowcases. Not the sort the merchants would welcome either.
      Your grant idea is so good probably someone is writing that now. The weather is going to keep us from getting everything out. Should have gotten out during that warm spell – but then we’d have the problem of getting it all dry to pack back up. Tree in the window works for me. Thanks for lighting up the comments


  9. Robin / Dec 8 2013 2:34 am

    We’re taking in nature’s Christmas decorations this year, rather than putting something out. Renovations have a way of turning holidays upside down. I hope nature hasn’t been decorating your area with ice and snow (as seen on TV). I like that jumble of lights. I say go for it. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:04 pm

      Holidays and renovations are a trial. Luckily Nature is putting on a great show. (Fine for me to talk – I’m not out in it.) It’s bitter cold and drizzling here…plenty to do inside, but Molly gets her walks anyway – she doesn’t feel weather at all. Enjoy your beautiful holiday scenes! Thanks for floating over here to chat


  10. Snoring Dog Studio / Dec 8 2013 12:49 pm

    Oh, my, I think it would be a wonderful idea to ball up the lights and leave them in a mound on your front yard. It’s a statement, but it’s a pretty and colorful one. It’s a symbol for how too many of us get all tangled up in the wrong reasons for this season.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:06 pm

      See – you totally get it. So far only bows are up on the porch lights. It’s just too bad weather to get outside. Hope you and your mom are snug and warm! Thanks for sledding over


  11. jmmcdowell / Dec 8 2013 9:07 pm

    Surely Molly’s just reaching for the National Geographic, right? 😉 We were at the museum last night for “An Irish Christmas” and had a wonderful time. A great way to kick off the holiday season. Today, we’ve had a few inches of snow, and now we hear the sleet against the windows. Ice is supposed to follow. Not a good day for putting up any decorations outside! I think we’ll be sticking with the simple wreath on the door. Really, some nearby unlit yards make the big displays even more impressive, don’t you think?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:13 pm

      AH, you saw that. Started to cut the pix, but Molly does like to travel…says it shows good taste.Hope you guys are bundled up and not having to get out – looks brutal (although it’s about the same temp here, we only have drizzle not snow…winds off and on)
      The one thing I miss about being out of the city is events like “An Irish Christmas”. The universities sometimes put on “revels” – we will make the fine art museum events but travel is such an ordeal with weather and traffic.(We keep voting for rail – they keep buying buses – which break down all the time. Arrrrggg)
      Yes, this year nature may provide most of the outdoor decor. Thanks for skating over – will be over your way shortly


  12. Sun / Dec 8 2013 10:25 pm

    some folks really have talent (and patience) when it comes to outdoor holiday decorating – and yes, makes it real nice to walk around at night. ha-ha…German with a Santa hat over eyes. ☺ and Molly… that is brilliant work with the coffee acrobatics. cheers !!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:15 pm

      I really like the yards where they have collected one of everything from Target, Walmart, and Home depot – added a few homemade stuff over the years and it’s all put together on a Saturday afternoon by the little kids directing dad. Now that’s Christmas! (The German is tastefully wearing Holly leaves and berries this year. Must get a pix.) Thanks for caroling along


  13. dogear6 / Dec 9 2013 3:58 am

    Molly thinks fast on her paws. . . er, feet. Good excuses for Santa. Hope they work!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:18 pm

      Even though the weather is very bad and Molly can’t get out much, she’s so far been very calm…maybe the German warned her Santa is watching? Thanks for hollying along


  14. EllaDee / Dec 9 2013 4:14 am

    I’ve been a little concerned (as well as a little busy but you have been on in my thoughts) about the ice storm across the US, and hoping you have power for heat, let alone sparkly flashing Christmas decorations. We didn’t have outside decorations, other than on the front door when I was a kid but now it makes me feel like I’m a kid when I see the neighbourhood all lit us. I indulge as well, and this year treated myself a new strand of solar fairy lights to string up at Taylors Arm, and some solar & rechargeable candles… so much safer for our old house. Unfortunately they will probably be the only festive decorations I put up as we are still betwixt & between. Hoping you and the gang are warm… 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:27 pm

      Solar lights! I’ve been looking at those – let me know what you think of them. Right now, they’d be useless – while we are above freezing here, it’s been grey, foggy, and raining for a week. We had 5 min of sun yesterday. We’re hoping for sun Wed, but another front is moving in Thurs. We used to live a hour north of here in tall pine country – pines are brittle and break in ice – always shutting power off. No matte what anyone says, you always need a gas stove to cook on and a gas fireplace just in case – even here on the coastal prairie. North Texas and the east coast are slammed by ice and snow. It does look bad. Molly said to tell you she’s snug on the couch ( and sneaks on the bed sometimes early in the morning…although RC takes a very dim view of that…but she is getting up to eat breakfast anyway. She said to be sure to mention that. She was getting up anyway.
      Did I hear right?There’s snow/ice somewhere in Australia? An odd Christmas scene for some there.
      Hope your dad is doing well. A touch of Christmas cheers everyone…but that snow is pushing it a bit. Thanks for caroling along


      • EllaDee / Dec 10 2013 12:57 am

        Nooo, for Christmas cheer, solar lights aren’t going to work for you… but for us summer means festive, although the lights don’t come on until later at night… are helpful if we are staggering home 😉 But if you just like pretty solar lights hanging about in summer, I think they are great. We have an ongoing turnover of the standard solar garden post type lights, they last a year or so, but the $10 strings of dragonfly lights have hung of around the clothes lines for a few summers, plus some lanterns, strings of coloured balls and the couple of bits and pieces we picked up this year. I also bought a set of 4 rechargable electric candles which are great for sitting in lanterns rather than candles.
        Yes, it’s been snowing in the ski fields of NSW. It apparently isn’t unusual for them to get the odd fall in December but in this case as much or more natural snow than fell during winter was unusual.
        I’m sure RC finds her way back to the bed when she’s ready… sounds cozy 🙂
        At TA we have a wood fire, gas bbq, hot plate & heater, an old fashioned phone that doesn’t require electricity and access to a diesel generator for similar reasons to run the water pump. If we get big storms we lose power.
        Thank you. Dad is on the mend but could be taking it easier I think. But we’ll all enjoy a quiet Christmas.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 10 2013 1:25 am

          I really like all the shaped lights – they are a nice festive touch for patios and porches (and practical as you say.) Normally solar might work here for Christmas – there are a ton in the store. We’re just in a grim weather pattern this year – it happens routinely after El Nino then La Nina summer weather patterns (despite what the global warming people say – this is pretty normal cycle…we do get snow here sometimes -even as far south as Corpus Christi, I’ve seen it – 6 inches deep.)
          At our farm house, we first had wood burning stove for cooking/heat…propane tanks later. People just didn’t think they had to wear short sleeves in winter then – you’d get laughed at. We could always throw a bucket down the well if the pump froze.
          Your dad is so independent he reminds me of mine. You can’t tell them anything. Enjoy the weather…I almost bough Christmas cards with palm trees on them today – normally they’d be spot on with the weather.


  15. Love the inflatable snowman…It makes me quite lighthearted!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 9 2013 11:28 pm

      That’s the biggest snowman I’ve ever seen. Hope it’s tethered well – big winds headed this way. That house is right at the front, so it’s a cheery welcome home in this grim weather. Thanks for floating in to chat


  16. jannatwrites / Dec 9 2013 7:00 pm

    We’ve never decorated outside…until this year. We don’t have much, but the kids had a blast doing it. I prefer good old-fashioned lights over the inflatables, but I guess I’m just not with the times yet 🙂 Good luck getting your decorations out. Can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 10 2013 12:50 am

      I love the old fashion big bulb strings of colored lights…even though the yellow is more orange now. They best decorations are the ones kids get to organize. Activities are really Christmas spirit. Thanks for a shining comment


  17. oddgirlnextdoor / Dec 10 2013 5:52 am

    I can’t say I’m a big fan of the inflatables, not my cup if tea. I think they’re eye sores, but they’re used in place of everything around here. “I don’t wanna do lights this year Honey…. Eureka! Fill the yard with inflatables!” Ugh. I’m not kidding, last year I counted a yard with 37 different inflatables, and that was it. It looked like a truck had wrecked in the yard. Haha! I didn’t even know they made that many! We still drive around for light displays, some folks around here are known for it….they start decorating in September, but hey, if they like to do it. Lol I may do the ball of lights in the yard, why not? It may make the statement in less words than I have to: to care more about the effort than the result. Happy Holidays ^_^


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 10 2013 3:13 pm

      They just seem to be increasing like cats having kittens! (Also the subject of posts last years…the camo snowman, really?). You are probably right: inflatables make decorating so easy….image is everything. Thanks for blowing up a comment!


      • oddgirlnextdoor / Dec 10 2013 7:17 pm

        Np, yours is a fun read, and I always enjoy them!


  18. The Hook / Dec 11 2013 3:02 pm

    I hate Snowzilla.


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