I am not new to the South. I've celebrated the past ten Christmases (yes ten!) with a boy born south of the Mason-Dixon. I'm a wannabe southern lady and I have eagerly faked my way through new and old traditions such as pimento cheese sandwiches and Firefly. However, even after changing my permanent residence to Tennessee, I feel more an outsider than ever. This season has brought a few of those cultural differences to the forefront. May I enter into evidence:
You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall, the most famous automobile of all? The Rudolph Mobile. Have you seen them? They are everywhere down here. I have seen them on Minis, Subarus, Toyotas, Fordsa and even a Lexus. This is a southern thing, no? I figure southerners are used to strapping their bucks to their trucks, so maybe this is what you do down here?
Bows as tree toppers. They are tasteful and simple and affordable too. However, I had grown up with stars or angels on my tree and had never seen a bow atop a tree ever. That is, until my mother in law introduced me to the southern fashion. Who knew? This my friends, is the tree adorning the lobby of my workplace. Is this southern too? People do not seem too concerned with being politically correct as there are trees in city hall, local banks and other places of business with nary a menorah or mishumaa in sight.
Maybe it's a rich person thing, but I had never heard of professional christmas light put-er-on-ers until I moved to Nashville. They are real! They do exist! I have seen cherry pickers in peoples' driveways assembling private residential festival of lights. Amazing. Why didn't I think of that?
Now this was a real eye-opener. Did you know mistletoe grows on trees? Well, it does. A parasite, it grows in wild clumps and you have to remove it before it kills the vegetation. Sure, you can climb up the tree and get it down. Or, you could just shoot it down with your .22 like a true southerner would do. What inspires a seasonal smooch better than a side of bang bang?
Ho Ho Ho Y'all!