The Cheer-o-meter is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Tonight, when Mike and I went to the store, I devised a new way of celebrating Christmas cheer. For each house that we passed, I gave it a score from 0-10, based on its decorations. The more bright lights, gaudy decorations, and Santas kneeling at the manger that you have on your house and in your yard, the higher your Christmas cheer score. Our house, for example, gets a 1. We have our tree in the window, but it only has white lights. They don’t even flash. We also have a boring old wreath on the front door with no lights. Now, this is exactly what I want for my own house, but it does not exactly score high on the Christmas Cheer-o-meter. It’s like we’re not even trying.

Luckily, when Mike got over the fact that I was being really annoying, yelling numbers at houses as we passed them (and giving him a zero in cheer every time he disagreed with me), he took me down a side street that was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. I was already giving extra points for crazy inflatable things in yards, giving the house with the creepy polar bear in a witch hat a 5 when it might ordinarily just be a 3 or 4 without it, so you can imagine my excitement at seeing a house in our neighborhood that had lights and figurines and this inflatable Santa carousel. (I’ll wait here while you click that link. No, seriously. Click the link. You need to see this.) You guys. An inflatable Santa carousel. That house was a solid 8, and it’s still early. Who knows what other crazy stuff they can put in their yard before Christmas? Will we be able to see the grass? Will they have to park their cars in the street? Will there be spotlights and fireworks? Santa passing out candy canes? Will the Cheer-o-meter have to go to 11 just to accomodate the new and unprecedented levels of cheer? Tune in next week to find out!

I encourage you to bring the Cheer-o-meter to your own neighborhoods. I was really crabby tonight on the way to the store, but harshly judging people’s homes cheered me right up.

Now get to decorating. I’ll be watching.

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