Rigging up the Lights

I set out this weekend to rig up the Christmas lights. Here I am pictured below. I can’t tell if I am smiling or gritting my teeth at the task of untangling that rat’s nest. But I can tell you that I was victorious and the lights are hanging on the outdoor tree.

There is so much to talk about when it comes to Christmas lights. First of all, this responsibility typically falls on only one member of the family. There is never a “I’ll get the lights this year, honey.” No, no, if it’s your responsibility, you know it. Secondly, it doesn’t matter how much care you take packing the lights up for next year, they will always emerge from the box like they had a huge party over the summer. Maybe there really is Christmas in July! And thirdly, no matter how many lights you have, you will always need to buy more. There is something about Christmas lights that brings out the Clark Griswold in all of us. Alleluia!!!

Having to buy more lights has gotten totally out of control. Admittedly, I want to have more lights than my neighbor but does that really mean I have to replace all of last year’s lights too. When did lights become so disposable? How on Earth can these things not last at least five years! I don’t ever remember my parents buying new lights. We threw them into the box labeled “Lights” at the end of the season and pulled the same ones out year after year. My grandparents lights were so old that the paint eventually chipped off the bulbs and over the course of thirty years they morphed from festive colored lights into classy white lights. Talk about getting your money’s worth. Not to mention that they burned hot enough to serve as a secondary heating source; now that’s real value. Of course you run the risk of burning your house down.

Today, there is virtually no risk of fire. The LED lights are cool to the touch and so energy efficient it’s like they aren’t even on. Are they on? It’s hard to tell. We are a little skeptical of LED lights in our household. After all, we want to make sure Santa can find our home so we went with the high energy consumption ones this year. We’ll see if they last more than one year but if they don’t I’ll find that box labeled “Lights” in my grandparent’s attic. They’ll work. Now that’s a shining example.