Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Light through Yonder Window Breaks?

I misplaced my Christmas lights. This qualifies as a first-world problem, and I’m not asking for sympathy.  I am, however, disappointed my memory turned trickster. Really, memory? You choose now to trip me up?

Don’t worry, I don’t have to buy many replacement strands. Energy conservation is my excuse for no longer hanging lights outside. Last year, a neighbor lost patience with me and said, “How long does it take to throw up one strand of lights? Ten minutes!” I should have told her to make herself at home on my roof, but no, her fervor so astonished me, I couldn’t think of a comeback.

The light lobby is powerful on my street. Larger-than-life inflatable snowmen, illuminated from within, bob and sway.  Spotlights shine on twig reindeer that lift their heads, eye Disney characters bearing gifts, and lower them again. Lighted candy canes compete with lighted wreaths and LED snowflakes. Multi-colored lights blink. (God help anyone prone to seizures who inadvertently turns down my block.) Santa and his sleigh get spotlights as do doors decorated to look like wrapped presents.

It’s festive.

It’s tacky.

If I ruled the world, people would wrap white lights around trees or place an ivory electric candle in every window. I’d decree indoor trees must bear white lights, not multicolored. Oh, and no blinking lights would be allowed in my kingdom.  Go on, call me Grinch.

Tomorrow, I’ll buy white lights to adorn the tree that now stands in my front window. My neighbors will be disappointed, but they’ll get over it. My gift to them is the superiority they’ll feel every time they look over at my bling-less, light-less house.

Do you put up  outdoor lights and decorations? What decoration, inside or out, must go up before you’re ready to greet the holiday? (My last question fits Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, too, so don’t think you can wiggle out of answering.)


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Well my goodness that's a lot of Grinch going on. But, if my neighbor had said to me, what yours said to you, I'd retaliate every year and never put lights up again. Sheesh. How rude. Your neighbor has no idea what's going on in your life. Perhaps you're ill or injured or depressed and on the brink of suicide. What a horrible thing to say to someone.

My husband is usually in charge of hanging the lights, so this year, we have none on the house. I simply got tired of nagging.

I do prefer white lights on the tree, but as I said, my husband hangs the lights so our tree has colored lights again this year. I think perhaps when I put the decorations away this year (yes, that's the job I always get stuck with) I shall conveniently "lose" the colored tree lights.

Good for you for getting a tree up though.

Happy holidays, Pat, despite your unadorned house.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia/Jansen!
I AM a Grinch and a ranty ranter. My dark house must feed my dark heart.

Patricia, I'm horrified I sound ill, injured, depressed or on the brink of suicide. Seasonal crankiness is my only problem, and some would say it afflicts me year 'round.

You're wise to stop nagging your husband about lights. If he fell while up on the ladder, the guilt would consume you. See how I justify not hanging lights outside?

Happy holidays to you, Patricia. You're a light in my life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

I put up a small simple tree on the front porch (I live upstairs in a condo) and a wreath w/lights on the railing and the usual lights in the windows and some decorations on the fireplace mantel.

I suffer from Holiday crankiness also - a friend wrote me last night that he can't wait until the holidays are over (little stress in his life, no children, little family (maybe that's his problem).

Anyway, you'll be thrilled to know that I figured out how to get 3 timers working and they are all working fine - so I'm a happy camper today.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick!
You have three timers working your holiday lights? I am not fit to touch the hem of your Santa suit.

I know I'm out-classed when I read, "and the usual lights in the windows." Usual? Lights anywhere are a big production for me.

Merry Christmas and a happy 2014 to you, too, Patrick. I appreciate you.

Lark Howard said...

I'm a purist, too, Pat. And somewhat lazy. I bought a tasteful pre-lit 6' tree from Restoration Hardware--looks like stick branches with no leaves or needles. We didn't even add ornaments. It's lovely and festive and fine with me. All the elaborate decorations are great if you like them--mostly the white lights work fine for me.

Happy Holidays!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Ooh, your tree sounds lovely, Lark. White lights remind me of stars. They're perfect.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. 2014 is going to be a good one.

Sheila Seabrook said...

We haven't done outside Christmas lights for years either, Pat. And alas, my DH has had the flu, so the lights aren't yet on the indoor tree yet either. :) Happy holidays to you and your family!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sheila!
Ugh to the flu. This is a lousy time of year to be sick. (Not that the time's ever right.)

By Christmas Eve, your tree will have lights. Meanwhile, enjoy your snowscape, stay warm, and write on.

I'm sending warm thoughts your way from Texas.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

LOL Pat - I'm all for the ivory candles in the windows! Some nights mine get plugged in, some nights... not. As long as we have the nativity scene, fireplace mantel, and tree (all indoors), we're good. DH used to go all out decorating with lights outside, but stopped when our daughter outgrew the sparkly-eyed little kid stage, because her opinion was the only one that mattered. She just cares about the indoor stuff now.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jennette,
Once again, I'm the last to figure out something. My "meh" reaction to outdoor decorations has a lot to do with my kids' ages. They're grown and no longer get a kick out of walking up and down neighborhood streets to see lights. (Maybe they do that in their own neighborhoods, but I doubt it.)

You must be thrilled to have your girl home from college. Enjoy every minute

Patricia Kay said...

Too funny, Pat. I can't remember what I did with the lights I bought in 2012, either, so I bought new ones this past Christmas. I can't keep that up. Or can I?