LeAnn Wilson McGuire Writing her Right Brain column

Right Brain

It’s December and Christmas trees are going up all over the country. My street is riddled with wreaths, lights, Moravian stars and an occasional manger scene. And I’ve discovered you can tell a lot about a person by his or her Christmas décor.

My neighbors have outlined their entire home in white lights. It’s not gaudy, but after dark, it looks somewhat like a Cape Cod leisure suit. The lines of lights are painstakingly straight and organized – much like the accountants who live inside.

A few houses down, colored lights cover the bushes and Santa’s sleigh (pulled by Dasher, Dancer, Prancer AND Vixen) spills haphazardly across the front lawn. This is the handiwork of a stay-at-home mom whose three children worship the ground she walks on.

Struggling to compete with Santa’s sleigh, the house to the right looks more like a manger than a home. A herd of grape vine reindeer covered in bright white lights cover the manicured yard. And several of their heads actually bob from right to left as if grazing. I haven’t met the woman who lives there, but I’ve heard she’s a veterinarian.

The house next door looks desolate by comparison. A craftsman-style bungalow, it sits in the shadows of the sparkling homes around it without so much as a wreath on the door. The 30-something bachelor who owns the place spends more time in his car than his home. The only decoration we’re apt to see from him is the mistletoe dangling from his rear view mirror.

Across the street, white candles light dormer windows and a Moravian Star hangs under an arched doorway. The effect is as quietly attractive as the 70-year-old retired couple who created it.

Beside me, luminaries take center stage. Candles illuminate one’s path down the sidewalk and up the cedar-lined drive to two light-covered holly bushes cut into perfect spheres. An exceedingly large front door is draped in wreaths and live pine swags. Who would have guessed the people who live there owned a flower and garden shop?

So far, I’ve hung a wreath made of red cherries on my front door and adorned the light post with a single red bow. But I’m thinking of hiring a production company to install floodlights and stage a scene from Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” I AM in advertising, after all. Besides, if I don’t, what will the neighbors think?