With Thanksgiving out of the way, and Christmas lights going up around us, it’s safe to say the holiday season is officially here. As we all recoup from our food comas, we can anticipate an upcoming month of love, family time and gift giving. That is, if we all lived Hallmark movie lives. Realistically, the children in us are ready for a full month of tomfoolery and debauchery. Whether it’s spiked eggnog or sex on a gondola, there’s a myriad of ways to get your kicks in December.
For me, however, there can only be one true way to enjoy this time of the year, and that is through the art of deer stacking. As difficult as it is to describe its artistic beauty through words, I will nevertheless offer my best description. Picture for a moment, those glistening and grand wicker reindeers that line the lawns of many suburban households. They stand guard outside their houses, often in pairs, sometimes in groups as big as three or four, their white glow permeating the still night. Now picture these same reindeer mounting one another in jubilee, screaming to the world that togetherness can take many forms, and should not be limited to human beings.
I give you: deer stacking. The strategic placement of wicker, Kmart bought reindeer, onto one another. In layman’s terms: They are made to look like they’re humping each other. Some would say this is a trite, immature art form. Romantics on the other hand would understand the beauty of it all. To the proprietors, the Christmas spirit emanating from these wondrous creatures of the night stands testament to the joys of the holidays. To members of the deer stacking community, they are pieces of art, waiting to be molded into exuberant creations.
Not only is stacking a form of artistic expression, it also happens to be a huge rush. And is this not the essence of art? Passion, mixed with craftsmanship. Talent, coupled with joy. When you finish placing the hooves of one reindeer onto the hind end of another, take a few steps back, and enjoy the finished product, the feeling inside you is pure delight. It is comparable to the emotions felt by Michelangelo, when he put the finishing touches on his “David”. How do I know this to be true? I don’t. He’s dead and couldn’t be interviewed. However, one could assume he was at least half as happy as I was the time I finished my first stack.
If being chased from lawns by irate fathers wielding golf clubs is not enough fun, there remain bigger and better targets out there for your enjoyment. Storefronts and city property, entrances to communities and bridges, etc., offer a great alternative. Ace Hardware usually has deer inside that can be stacked with guile, while grocery stores like Ralph’s like to display their wicker beacons outside the store, or on the roof. Both of these places make for quite a challenge, with success dependent on teamwork and strategy. More often than not, the deer will be bolted down, so a set of tools is required. Plus, you’re entirely exposed to the public, so you must be quick and determined. Only once in my life did I feel as good as the day I stacked Ralph’s, and it was after watching “Cool Runnings.” Yes. That good.
As wonderful as stacking is, sometimes there just seems to be no deer around to work with. Ominous occasions like these occasionally call for diversification. Though in no way comparable to deer stacking, nativity scenes can make a cheap and fun substitute. Nothing gets a rouse out of a crazy Christian like provocatively placing Mary in front of Jesus. All right, maybe that’s a bit immoral. But regardless, irking neighbors is always a blast, any way you look at it. Especially when it’s neighbors who think putting on a thousand dollar light show makes them look like a badass. So this holiday season, drink up, stay warm and go for a stack or two. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to get away from your family and breathe some fresh air.