I started noticing, as the holidays approached, that Rhode Islanders like to put Christmas wreaths on the grills of their cars. The first time I saw this, I stared a little, eventually dismissing it as something some cute little old lady does. When I saw it the second time, I craned my neck around trying to determine if it was the same car as before, and by the 3rd 4th, 20th times, I was completely numb. They come in a variety of sizes and fancinesses, but at the end of the day, it’s a wreath on your car, which I still think is a little odd.

After I came to terms with the car wreaths, I saw a car with antlers. No other holiday adornment, just a pair of plush antlers jutting out above the front doors. They were in pristine condition despite the fact that recently we had a lot of rain and the “blizzard” that dumped 6.5 inches. I wondered if this person ever took them off and laundered them, or if these car antlers are just really well made.

If I had to choose between the two, I would have to go antlers every time, for a number of reasons:

  1. They seem more whimsical. You can just see a prankster, that guy in your office who is always joking around and making the day go faster (or slower), finding these antlers in the store where you buy car antlers and saying “eureka! I’ll spread holiday cheer from my car by pretending to be one of eight tiny reindeer—doesn’t matter which!”
  2. I don’t get wreaths. I guess they smell good (?), but we’re never had one that was real, so ours always smelled like plastic. In first grade, one of our assignments (cause I went to an elementary school where it seems all we did were art projects—no this wasn’t an art school) was to make a wreath out of pine-scented garbage bags. Yes, they make pine-scented garbage bags, although I can tell you definitively that in a town of 1200 people and about 4 stores, it’s a real pain in the ass to find them. One girl either waited too long, or just couldn’t find pine, so she would up with cranberry, which was a lovely magenta color. At first I felt really bad for her because she was the odd one, but then I looked at my dull, green garbage collection that smelled more like a cleaner than a tree, and I got jealous. What a waste of garbage bags.
  3. There really is no third reason, I just don’t get wreaths.

After I accepted the car-wreath and car-antler phenomenon, I felt like there was nothing New Englanders could put on their cars that would make me turn and look. Then I was driving home from work one night over the Claiborne-Pell bridge, and an SUV drove by me completely coated in blinking Christmas lights. This was alarming, to say the least. The SUV looked like a giant ball of light shooting over the top of the bridge. It was after dark by this point, so the bridge was also lit up, and since I couldn’t look away from this monstrosity of holiday cheer, I got little light trails blinking behind my retinas making this a very unsafe endeavor.

This guy (I’m assuming it was a guy, cause I couldn’t see) must have plugged like 10 strings of lights into his cigarette lighter somehow and then driven around with the windows down (?) This is only speculation, because it was so bright that even looking straight at it, all I could see was *BRIGHT*.

Maybe I’m a Grinch or a Scrooge or a girl who has been hurt by Christmas decorations in the past—but the lights are too much. They did not make me say “oh how fun, and/or quaint”, they made me say “I really hope he gets pulled over.” Yeah, I really hope he did.