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AOFM – The Best Kept Secret About Christmas in Dixie.

No, Not That, You Pervert, Maybe Later After Some Eggnog.

Oh yeah, Christmas time. I've seen a lot "bah humbug" on the Interweb this year, what with the economic situation being in a slump and all.

Even though we may not be able to purchase a lot of things this season, we know we can at least see a good Christmas light presentation at the malls. The "Twelve Days of Christmas", "Winter Wonderland", and other such various secular, non-offensive Christmas carols provide themes to base a huge, yet tasteful, set of mall Christmas decorations upon.

However, if you've lived down here in the South for any substantial length of time, you should know one of the best kept Yuletide secrets we have here in the heart of Dixie. We rednecks don't go to the malls to see the best displays of Christmas lights in town. Oh no.

We go to the trailer parks.

Or "manufactured home villages", if you prefer the politically correct nomenclature. I and my extended family don't care for the sugarcoating; "trailer park" is an accurate term to describe where most of us live, and by God, we'd rather own a piece of shit than rent the Taj Mahal. I can get into the origins of this philosophy at a later date, but not now. Now we're talking about CHRISTMAS.

At any trailer park here in the deep South, there is one family, usually just an old man and his wife, who spends every spare cent on Christmas lights. Got some change after buying a six-pack of nasty, cheap-ass beer? Get a string of lights. That windfall from selling the half-ton of aluminum soda cans that the trashy crack-smoking bitch and her friends next door leave scattered all over your lawn and in the ditch beside your doublewide? Spend it on another Frosty The Snowman. Social Security check burning a hole in your pocket? It's time for that giant fucking Star of Bethlehem you've had your eye on since it made its debut at the downtown Wal-Mart. And if you have a vision of a decorative masterpiece that hasn't yet been manufactured by a bunch of Honduran waifs laboring under Kathy Lee Gifford's whip, then in the name of the baby Jesus you should get out there with several two-by-fours, caulk, roofing nails, duct tape, and 1500 or so lights and MAKE IT SO, NUMBAH ONE! ENGAGE!

And fuck those little wimpy-ass clear monochrome lights. ONE COLOR??!! WHATCHU TALKIN' 'BOUT WILLIS? If it ain't got at least five colors, it ain't shit. Lots of colors, and no discernable theme to speak of, kind of like a gigantic luminescent upchuck. It's very important to stay away from themes of any sort, because that limits your collection. That small stable that was built for the huge nativity scene isn't complete without Santa, his sleigh, his reindeer (with two or three Rudolphs), and some prancing, frolicking, gay-ass elves on the roof. That pine tree stump in the front yard makes for the perfect Sermon on the Mount setting, with Jesus preaching to eager lawn gnomes and plastic pink flamingos, all near their melting points from the flood lights perched nearby. And, of course, your most prized possession, the 1978 bronze-and-primer-colored Pontiac Trans Am sitting serenely on its cinder blocks, makes the best background for all of your four-foot-tall illuminated hollow plastic toy soldiers and candy canes. Ignoring any electrical fire-hazard warnings, all of these things are wrapped in several hundred contiguous strings of multi-colored, patched, twisted, crimped, stapled, gimped-up lights, usually with the flashing bulb option installed, making everything twinkle and blink and flash and chaseā€¦

But, you know, at night, when you drive by it and your children are in the car, you see their eyes light up almost as bright as that old man's yard. At that point, you don't care how late it is, or how tired you are, or how much of a pain the kids have been, or anything like that. You just have to stop the car, get out, go to the door, knock on it, and say to the old man that answers the door,

"The lights look wonderful, Dad!"