‘Yule be sorry you didn’t,’ says Janice Lind, Christmas enthusiast
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
Christmas certainly came early to local woman Janice Lind as she bustled about her North Vancouver front yard, humming “Silent Night” as she set up her animatronic Santa Claus and reindeer display. At her feet sat coils of twinkle lights she planned to affix to her home, five boxes of plastic elves and snowflakes to pepper around the yard, and a thermos full of spiked eggnog. Her eyes twinkled as she took a long sip, examining her work.
It would be a pleasant and festive sight for anyone, if it wasn’t 12:15 am on November 1.
“You know, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t start your Christmas celebrations early,” Janice told the Other Press. “I don’t know why people get so bent out of shape about the whole thing. I just want to be merry and festive for as long as I possibly can, God willing.”
Janice’s son Jason Lind, 21, was busy in the garage, hastily throwing decomposing jack-o’-lanterns into the compost.
“My mom’s off her rocker,” Jason said. “She makes us stay up all night to get the house ready and even shoos away trick-or-treaters if they get in the way of setting up. She’s always been like this and it’s just getting more intense as she gets older. Last year she made me shotgun an entire litre of eggnog once the clock struck midnight. I’m lactose intolerant! The aftermath was pure hell.”
Matthew Lind, 17, Janice’s younger son, was feverishly pulling cobwebs off some ferns near the front door. He told the Other Press, “Once December hits, she replaces all the milk in the house with eggnog, too. Do you know how gross eggnog and Froot Loops are together?”
Janice’s neighbours, Scott and Rick Hillford, were equally as disturbed by her behaviour.
“She’s very aggressive. No one else wants to join her in pretending that it’s Christmas for a fourth of the year and she needs to understand that,” said Rick to the Other Press. “She gets so offended when I don’t say ‘Happy holidays’ or ‘season’s greetings’ back to her when it’s, like, the middle of November. I don’t even get my work bonus until the paycheque before Christmas, so I don’t want to talk about ‘happy’ anything until that direct deposit hits.”
A disgruntled Scott added, “Those damn lights are on all day and night. Not that we can tell, though, because it looks permanently sunny in our place from how bright her display is once it’s up and running. My internal clock is all messed up. I don’t even know what time it is now.” Reporter’s note: it was 4 am at the time of the interview.
Janice shrugged off the naysayers as she sat cross-legged in the rain, checking each bulb in the string lights she planned to wrap around the telephone pole in front of her home. “They can say whatever they want but people like what I’m doing here. If you go on Instagram, the hashtag #merrylindmas has 11 whole posts and only seven of those are mine!”
“Those four other posts are definitely people making fun of her,” said Matthew when questioned about this number. “And I’m pretty sure one of them was my high school principal. So that’s awkward.”
“Tomorrow we start on the interior decorating,” lamented Jason. “We’re getting five trees delivered to the house. There’s only three bedrooms and the living room, so I don’t even know where the last one is supposed to go. I’ll be so pissed if we have a kitchen tree. The needles get everywhere.”
The sun began to rise as Janice placed the wreath on her front door, signalling an end to her hellish decorating. The red, green, and gold ornaments and figurines collected rainwater and the family dog lifted a leg on an animatronic Santa.
“The effort is worth it every time,” said Janice as she flicked the switch to turn on the external lights. Giggling excitedly, she bid the Other Press goodbye with, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
As she closed her front door, her neighbours stumbled, blinded by the bright lights, into their cars to start their commutes to work.