Monday, November 29, 2010

The Joys of Lighting the Way

When I got into work this morning my boss followed me in carrying a bag of Christmas lights. Now understand, the office we sit in is only about 15 feet square with three windows and two desks.

I was sure the bag; carrying three strands of 150 lights would be enough. However, it seems I was wrong. She will bring another bag in tomorrow. I never was one that got into the whole decorating thing. Oh don't get me wrong, contrary to popular opinion, I am not a scrooge. I do enjoy driving through the city – the safe parts if I can remember where they are, and ohhing and ahhing at the displays of people that will be shocked when they see their electric bill next month. I understand why – I was told when I was growing up we did it so Santa would be able to find our house. Of course I thought, “Oh great, yeah he can find it – but since we don’t have a chimney, how is he going to get in?” He always managed somehow.

My only problem with lights or any type of decoration is the fact that you put all that work into them, and then take them down in a month. I mean really – if you’re going to go through all the trouble of making sure they are straight, checking each light to make sure they work and the same color light isn’t next to it – (they have to be separated by at least four colors so if you only have three that still work, your screwed.) than why not leave them up for longer?

One year we used red white and blue lights (I was surprised I got that past my wife too) and we kept them up till the fourth of July.

I personally would rather put them up, real simple maybe one or two strands over the garage door, the weekend of Thanksgiving and take them down after New Years. I have seen lights up since Halloween – that is a little over board.

Inside the house, we have two trees (the wife says it is to even the house out – one in the living room and one in the family room.) One is in a multi-color light show, blinking spasmodically like a neon light on speed. (Of course no two colors are close to each other.) Heaven forbid if one is out, we spend over an hour trying to find it and replace it. Next there is the tinsel. Come on! Who ever thought of these little pains in the butt should be shot, and then hung – maybe on a Christmas tree next to their damn tinsel. Do you really think they look like ice cycles? And they get all over the place. If you try to vacuum them up before you take down the tree they end up back on the floor a minute later. And they clog up the vacuum so you either have to fix it or get a new one. (Wonder if the company that makes the tinsel makes vacuum cleaners too? Na…too much of a coincidence.)

The ornaments are good –but watch out for those hooks and make sure no two are next to each other if they are the same style. And---they have to wrap around the tree from bottom to top in order of size.

One hard part is keeping the horde of dogs away from it; the other part is remembering to turn them on when I get home from work.

We also have a strand, blue lights, across our fireplace mantle that the wife uses to display her Santa Clause statues. This one we leave up all year, even the Santa’s.

How much decorating depends on when we do it – if we wait too long, we may just have a candle in the window, or two. (All straight and exactly even with the one above or below it.)

I have heard rumors that there are people out there that wait until December 23rd to do any decorating. I have never witnessed this display (I never go out after December 15th anyway: Fear of shopping, it’s a mancode thing)

Of all the displays I have ever seen, I think this one is and will always be my favorite;

Most everyone I talked to today has their light displays up, some don’t. I have noticed that the neighborhood displays have dwindled a little, is it that they are just too busy to do it, too poor to afford the energy bill or just don’t want to mess with them at all?
Me, I may wait till this weekend and start the processes by putting up one of our trees up and just sitting in the corner and waiting for someone else to do the lights. I know the house will be unbalanced, but that is something we will have to endure. (I know from experience that my wife will do it over again, but I try to please.)

It is time people, get those lights up and display them in your favorite fashion. My boss did her this weekend at their condo. She said no one else had their lights up and as she worked at them the neighbors started to come out and watch her. Eventually she got the whole section of condos lit up like a night game at the local stadium. Now that is the Christmas spirit – I do hope it is catching! Nothing beats upping the Griswolds!


  1. Maybe I just don't want to think it's Christmas yet. Can't get my head around it. Will try to get the tree up this weekend. It has spaceships. :D

  2. Spaceships on a tree, cool! Never did get those Star Trek ornaments I asked for last year.:(

  3. Love the video! But would not want to be their neighbor. Wow.

    We bought our tree today. We'll bring it in to decorate this weekend. It seems like a lot of work considering the holidays go by so fast.

  4. Thx for the MANCODE shout out, Hutch ;-).

    I have to give props to my husband when it comes to our Xmas decorating. You see, I'm married to Buddy the Elf. No task is too arduous for my guy as long as it's red, green, & sparkly. It's a blessing (or a curse--still working that one out).

    As long as I have eggnog & brandy, I can survive any holiday season w my elf.

  5. Helen, That You should do a youtube search on that, they had the imbedded code removed from the one I wanted to put in.
    Rachel, it wasnt a problem, just took me a while to figure out how to do that.