A Heartwarming Tale of Holiday Cheer

While it’s been tradition to do a Yulemala post or two here at the Show blog, we’re just not ready. Next year, there will be a full program of Yulemala films to talk about. That’s not to say that the spirit of brotherhood and friendship, or “brothership” as I like to call it, is absent from our orbit. Quite the contrary, the joy of a Patrick Swayze Christmas is all about us as we enjoy the Champagne of Egg Nog and celebrate not just a Yulemala, but a Krullmas as well.

But more on that in next week’s Satellite Show Office Holiday Party …

With all these heartwarming things going on, I wanted to tell you about how my formerly two-sizes too small heart has been infected with the sort of Holiday cheer that gets me into a pullover vest and buying Xmas themed shirts as gifts.

Truly, an Xmas miracle.

Truly, an Xmas miracle.

It’s also softened my stance on a plague that once consumed the neighborhood around the Future Threat Studios, home to the Satellite Show and its recording facility. This plague is known as “That House Syndrome” or THS.

Have you not heard of THS? Let me pose these questions to you (or someone you love): Do you set up a Halloween display in your front lawn on the 1st of October? Do these decorations remain up until the 4th of Novemeber? Do you replace them with an inflatable, light-up Turkey? When you take the turkey down the after Thanksgiving do you replace it with Xmas decorations? How many? Possibly an inflatable, light up Nativity scene? Do those decorations remain lit well into March?

June perhaps?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you, or someone you love, may have That House Syndrome. THS afflicts millions of Americans each autumn and lasting well into the following year. At a cost of untold dollars in watthours, THS is an energy-consuming disease I once thought we could ill afford to ignore.

THS differs from normal celebratory lights and decorations in the following ways: severity and duration. Type I THS is also known as Severe Decoration Disorder, an example of which follows:

This home is a classic example of Type I. A Type I sufferer may not present symptoms until the second week of December, but symptoms will be sharp and sudden. Often including an excess of lights, multiple inflatable, light-up decorations and snowglobes, or musical accompaniment.

Type II is prolonged decoration complex. A Type II sufferer will present symptoms as early as the first of October and continue to present as late as June. The inflatable, light-up turkey is one of the more telling symptoms of Type II THS as the symptoms will often present with appropriate celebration with Christmas remaining visible for months.

While the disease still cripples millions of holiday well-wishers, it’s not a cause I have a lot of energy for this year. Perhaps it is because none of my neighbors presented before December. It may be the lack of Type I symptoms up and down the street or, more harrowing, have I come to enjoy the decorations?

No, let’s not get too crazy around here.

While most outdoor ornaments, nativity scenes and other displays still seem like overkill to me, there’s something to be said for a tasteful string of lights giving dimension to the attached home during the longest nights of the year.

An example of festive festoonery.

An example of festive festoonery.

And that’s really the point of lighting one’s home during the winter solstice, it’s proof that the light will return and that we’re ready to fight the darkness with whatever conjurings our minds can create in the inky black. If appropriately applied, it is a charming adornment that offers warmth even when it’s freezing out there.

Or, at least as close to freezing as we get in Southern California. I know our local news makes it seem like we can’t handle 40 degree weather, but we’re just looking for an excuse to put on scarves.

Some just need an excuse embellish their homes with lights and offer that feeling of brothership for as long as the neighborhood will allow it. It is dark and lonely out there and sometimes a light is just the thing a person needs to keep trudging along.

I know, I know, I'm going soft.

I know, I know. I’m going soft.

That said, if those damned lights are down by January 10th, get ready for the THS Awareness Telethon! We’ll necromance Bea Arthur if we have to!

About Erik

Erik Amaya is the host of Tread Perilously and the former Head Film/TV writer at Bleeding Cool. He has also contributed to sites like CBR, Comics Alliance and Fanbase Press. He is also the voice of Puppet Tommy on "The Room Responds."
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