Christmas Fantasy Land (with photos)

Picture if you will, a magical holiday world full of excitement and wonder, of beautiful twinkling lights and amazing Christmas spirit. Now, stop imagining that because that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
In the deep, dark woods of a rural Alabama trailer park lies a place known as Christmas Fantasy Land. The trailer park is aptly named “Shady Acres,”and therein lies a home occupied by a family named Blackmon.
Every year this family hosts a redneck feast for the eyes in the way of Christmas decorations. There you can find Santa’s sleigh atop the Nativity, and a ferris wheel next to an homage to Bonnie and Clyde.  My girlfriends and I have a tradition of going to this place every year, and 2011 was no exception. It’s hard to put this experience into words, but I will briefly try before showing the photos.
This year they had Snoopy and the Grinch alongside an oddly placed patriotic setup. There was an ice skating rink next to a multi-cultural display. There was a native American display near a country-line dancing scenario. (I never realized how much that group like to mingle.) To top it all off there was a stray cat that followed us around, that of all things, my son named, “Shame.” Ironic considering that’s what all of the adults felt for being there.
Enjoy the photos, but don’t try to make sense of them. You’ll get a migraine. There is also a poem at the end inspired by Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s a must read.

In all sincerity, our kids thought this place was amazing. 

Sign that displayed, “Only OR days ’till Christmas.”

Not sure what this is. Possible moon landing. Possible 9-11 tribute. All I know is that they’re wearing rain coats and football helmets.

Santa’s Ho-Down

Because nothing says, “thank you,” to the troops like free-hand acrylic paint on plywood.

My friend Mary Beth with a semi-inflated Grinch

No idea what’s going on here. Pretty sure that’s an igloo in the background.  Possible Middle Eastern theme going on…

My son with Shame admiring the wonderment of CFL. (You can interpret that a couple different ways.)

My friend Loren Leigh (LL) posing with the CFL newly upgraded sign. It used to be written in Sharpie on a piece of cardboard.

This was on the front porch. There are no words for this, but we were ALL photographed with it.

All aboard the Christmas Fantasy Land Express. Traveling non-stop to the WIC line. 

There was some Disney action happening here. Walt would be proud.

We also did a little Tebowing. Little did she know, MB was kneeling in dog poo. 
Ode to Christmas Fantasy Land
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Shady Acres trailer park
Some creatures were stirring out there in the dark.
Colored lights were hung from the clothesline with care
In hopes that spectators soon would be there. 
The Blackmons were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of meth-labs danced in their heads.
And Lori in her sweater, and LL in glitter shoes
laughed in the van while Mary Beth “tebowed” in poo.
Then out of the van there arose such a clatter
So they sprang to the window to see what was the matter.
Like a flash from the van to the front porch they flew,
and posed with our sign, “In memory of Ma-Ma. We love you.”
From the steps of the porch they had quite a ball,
Then dashed away, dashed away, dashed away all.
They spoke not a word when a sign did display
In tensil and Sharpie, “God Bless the USA.”
And placing their hands across their laughing mouths
They emitted chuckles heard all over the south.
They sprang back to the van and sped off in the dark
And threw up gravel all through the trailer park.
And I heard them exclaim as they drove out of sight,
“Lock the doors so we all don’t get murdered tonight.”

Halloween: a Summary

Halloween had a little less magic this year than in years past. Thanks to recent events from Yemen, I found it somewhat inappropriate to dress Luke in his Unibomber costume. So, we had to resort back to the cow costume he didn’t want to wear. It took both Brantley and I to wrestle him into the costume and get it zipped up. All that fun wouldn’t have been complete without a marital spat, which ended in me shouting at Brantley, “He’s the two year old so why are you acting like a big fat baby?” Not my finest moment, but we made it through and after a few houses Luke got the hang of saying, “Trick or treat.”

We made it back to the house in time to give out candy and experience my favorite part of Halloween, passing judgement on everyone’s costumes. There was the expected super heroes, vampires and zombies, with splashes of originality and cute kids. Then came the preteen girls dressed like jail bait. Did their Dad’s not notice their costumes before they walked out the door? I saw fit to punish them with a candy penalty. They would receive only one piece per vixen.

Next, came the boys, or should I say, young men who appeared far too tall to be trick or treating. One of these gentleman approached with a familiar mask made popular in the movie Scream. By his size I guessed him to be about fourteen. He eyed the bowl and asked for a specific item, a trait I detest and for which I usually give a candy penalty. However, this kid was big enough to beat the crap out of me so I allowed it. “Do you think I could have one more for my wife?” he asked. “She loves those.”

“What did you just say? Did you say wife?” I asked
I could feel a smile coming from under that mask as he pointed to his wedding band. “Get off my porch,” I stated simply to the grown man clutching a pillow case full of candy, and he did. Loser.

About that time, anorexic runner lady ran by for her fourth sprint of the day. She’s the poster child for the female athlete triad and her body hasn’t seen a period in years. Of course she couldn’t be home giving out candy like everyone else. That would be unhealthy. So, instead she runs the neighborhood on a dark night with the highest traffic of the year. Hey Miss, getting hit by a car isn’t good for you, either.

Up walked another individual who was too big to be trick or treating. I say individual becuase I was unsure of their gender, but he/she weighed in at a good deuce and a half with what appeared to be a black DD bra on the outside of his/her clothes. That was the costume, normal street clothes with a bra on the outside. He/she definitely filled out the bra, which lead me to think female, but the rest of the picture just didn’t fit. Of course it really didn’t matter other than requiring me to change my standard question, “What are you supposed to be, little girl?” Instead, I changed it to, “Hey, look at you there.”
The night drew on and the candy eventually dwindled with two little boys finishing me off. “I like peanut butter cups,” one of them told me. “Sorry, I don’t have anymore of those,” I said politely, while secretly wishing him a candy penalty for being so forward. “But, I see some behind your back,” said annoying little boy. “Mind your business,” I told him. I wasn’t about to give up all of my candy after all the hard work I had done that evening. I sent them on their way, blew out the jack-o-lantern, and turned off the lights.

At last, Halloween had drawn to a close. Time to go Christmas shopping. Ugh!

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

It was hardly the Red Ryder BB gun from A Christmas Story. “This is what I want for Christmas,” I told Brantley as I dropped the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog down in front of him.

Brantley: “I’m not getting you a marshmallow gun.”
Me: “Why not?”
Brantley: “Because you would use it even less than the night vision goggles you wanted last year.”
Me: “I had a reason for not using them but I never told you because I didn’t want to talk about it.”
Brantley: “Talk about what?”
Me: (in a whisper tone) “One night I heard something outside. You were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you, so I quietly opened the blinds and put on my goggles. That’s when I saw him. Standing in the woods behind our house was a man who was also wearing night vision goggles. He was staring back at me.”
Brantley: “I can tell your lying because your eyes are open.”
Me: “Alright, fine but the infrared function is all crappy. It’s not military grade.”
Brantley: “No, it isn’t military grade! Why should it be?”
Me: “If I had that marshmallow gun I could stalk through the woods behind our house at night WITH my night vision goggles. Not to mention I’ve always wanted to be able to say, hand me my gun…Sure do wish I had me a marshmallow gun.”
Brantley: “Sure do wish I had a real gun.