How disheartening to come out of a holiday season to such a headline as "Vacaville Family Shamed... For Not Decorating For Christmas." I don't know about anyone else, but this year it was a hard Christmas to get through, for a multitude of reasons. We decorated, but have done so minimally over the past ten years, as we live in a secluded neighborhood and our neighbors certainly don't seem to care one way or another.
Apparently, it is tradition for the residents of Candy Cane Lane and Lollipop Lane in the town of Vacaville to decorate abundantly for the holidays. One woman chose not to, as she was in mourning for her mother who had passed away earlier this year and who had made the decorations by hand. She received an anonymous letter from a neighbor stating intolerance for anyone living on the street to not participate in the practice.
Interestingly enough, I was actually thinking about this last night on my way home as I took in the still-standing lights on nearby homes. Fewer homes every year partake in the tradition - be it lack of interest, or the high cost of powering the displays. Many just don't feel the motivation. I find it sad, mainly because there doesn't seem to be any tradition that has taken its place. One thing is for certain; we all have our reasons, whatever they may be.
There is a common theme in most of the issues plaguing the world, but let's narrow that down to just our own culture alone - America. We are entirely too judgmental of others. We are all guilty in some way, we pick and choose our discriminations - that we have made such a celebrity of Judge Judy speaks volumes. We have a greater awareness of "invisible illnesses" than we used to, but only when it is convenient to us. It's okay to call each other out on occasion or to have the structure of law and consequence, so long as we keep ourselves in check as well.
If I were a part of this community, I would be ashamed upon reading this letter. I was embarrassed enough as a fellow human to read it. While I don't want to encourage more rage in the world, I do hope that there is sufficient offense to hold these neighbors accountable for their shameful behavior going forward.