I've been a little self-conscious about our Christmas decorations this year. Because of a family vacation earlier this year we didn't get to put up Halloween decorations until the day before Halloween, and even then it was a pretty paltry showing. We also didn't get to run our haunted house, which was a big disappointment to the rest of the neighborhood. We had no idea we'd become such an institution, but we heard from many of the trick-or-treaters that they were looking forward to it.

All of that goes to explain why the day after Thanksgiving we broke out the Christmas decorations, something we normally wait until just the week before Christmas to do. There's apparently a yin and yang to the decorating effort and we compensated for the lack of Halloween by making our best showing ever on the Christmas side. But as I drove around I realized we were very early on the decorations and so began to feel a little self-conscious about our house.

Which is why on Thursday, as I was flying back from NYC, as the plane banked to turn and make a landing from the south at RDU I looked out at the sub-divisions below, scanning for decorations, and was rewarded to see a similarly decked out house:

"Hey, we aren't the only ones, there's another house with a set of blinking icicles on their front porch and ... aww crap, that's my house!