Picture the most wondrous display of tasteful sparkle lights and multiply that specialicity by ten and then you come close--close!--to comprehending the beauty of the bong trees*.
Every year, an office building between our house and my parent's house cover all of their trees in sparkle lights (okay, they actually leave them hooked up but not on all year round) and it looks like a fairy forest when you are sitting at the world's longest traffic light.
Personally, I love the sparkle lights and think they should be lit every single night of the year, but apparently that's not "good for the environment" and "wastes energy" and "makes Christmas a 12-month affair." Last year, the bong trees went on September 20th.
I didn't necessarily expect them to be on in September, but I was a little concerned when they weren't on in October. After Halloween, I reasoned with the twins. But Halloween came and went and still no sign of the bong trees. The lights were still wrapped around the trees, they just weren't...lit.
I was fully convinced they'd be on by Thanksgiving--or the weekend after Thanksgiving at the latest. Perhaps they were timing the lighting to coincide with the switch over to Christmas music on 97.1 FM. But when the lights weren't on last weekend, I almost called the office park.
"This is fucking irresponsible," I told Josh. "Don't they know that there are people in Maryland who actually CARE? Who actually give a shit whether or not the sparkle lights appear. What about us? What am I supposed to do?"
"Actually, we're Jewish," Josh calmly reminded me.
"It's like they are taking away Christmas. From me. It's like they don't even know how much I care just because we're kosher, observant Jews who don't actually celebrate Christmas. As if we don't count. I'm calling them on Monday."
"Who are you calling?"
"I'm calling the main line at the office building. They must have some type of information desk. Or I'll just call an office in the building and get them to look into it."
Josh said exactly what you're thinking.
And then, just when I had given up all hope, when I almost took a different route because who the hell cares if the bong trees are dark--they were on tonight. I could see them as we crested the hill and it was like running into an old friend at an airport when you are completely focused on taking your ativan before the flight.
Because it is the longest traffic light in the world, I had plenty of time to hang out my window and try to photograph the scene. And as we turned the corner, we made the right into the office and did a loop through the parking lot and paused in the center so we could marvel at the trees.
"I just wish we could take them home," the ChickieNob admitted.
Have I also thought about uprooting the trees and bringing them home and planting them in our lawn like an astronaut slamming the American flag into the moon--well, yes. But that would make me a criminal. And the bong trees should be there forever for everyone to enjoy.
I feel like there should be a job where people could hire me to celebrate Christmas for them. I'll decorate your house and go visit your family. While I can't eat the spiral-cut ham, I can sing all the songs around the piano. I don't really do eggnog or drinks that look like eggnog--but I do enjoy a good egg cream if people would be cool with that replacement.
* The bong trees are so named because "the first night the twins saw it at age 2, the ChickieNob sucked in her breath and said, "we found it. This is the land where the bong trees grow." Sure enough, it looked exactly like the bong trees in the version we own of the Owl and the Pussycat."