Festive lights and decorations create a seasonal setting in downtown Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)

Ryan’s Regards: The elves have been at it again in Langley

How early is too early to put up Christmas lights? Does it matter?

My mom always used to tell me that the Christmas decorations covering lamp posts and lawns of my hometown were put there by elves.

Being a child at the time, her logic made perfect sense.

You never saw anyone responsible for hanging the glowing garlands and flashing reindeer – it all seemed like the strands of tinsel magically went up over the course of a single night – Dec. 1.

Despite the annual public outcry that the decor was going up earlier and earlier every year, in my mind, North Pole employees seemed like a prime candidates for that kind of slick task.

When I got a tad older, we caught one of the “elves” up on a ladder – mid-day – removing one of the bell-shaped ornaments from a post.

He had a rather Santa Claus-ish figure all right, but the patchy black beard and cigarette hanging out of his mouth illustrated anything but a merry yuletide.

Santa’s workshop seemed like a very different place from what I had imagined.

I hadn’t paid much attention to the ornaments twinkling over Langley’s streets during the holidays, but I accidentally caught the “elves” at work the other day, stringing lights outside my apartment window.

While this sparked a minor in-home debate whether or not it was too early to ring in the holiday season – I did begrudgingly find people with their lights switched on the day after Halloween – it put me in the festive spirit.

On came the carols… out came the egg nog… National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was swiftly recorded.

The ‘when is too early to decorate’ question became as pointless to me as wondering if you should only eat one Ferrero Rocher.

Elves or no elves, I suppose the sight of city staff making Langley merrier was a welcomed, reaffirming one; this place is a holiday hub.

This will be my third holiday season spent in the community, and take it from me, all of the activities lined up for the month of December are enough to leave even the most chipper Christmas enthusiast without breath.

Watching my inbox get inundated with craft markets and choir performances… breakfasts with the big guy in red… donations and fundraisers… Nutcracker renditions! You can’t even count on the amount of partridges in a pear tree how many Nutcracker performances featuring Langley dancers are happening.

It seemed to me, growing up witnessing the “elves” decorative efforts around town was one of the bigger events of the season. That, and the Sears catalogue…

In Langley, you can’t look in a single direction without having to shield your eyes from an illuminating light display.

The traditional public outcry about the early decor was right on cue the moment the first wreath went up; I’m starting to think, with all of the volunteering, good will, and positive spirit going around, the earlier the better!

As tempting as a warm house is during the chilly winters, Langley, I urge you to get out and take advantage of the plentiful activities going on – it truly is something special.

If nothing else, thank an elf for their ornamental efforts if you happen to see one out there.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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