Why is it that all those Christmas lights that were so carefully packed away after last year’s attempt at making the house look like Atlantic City look more akin to a viper’s nest than a neat, systematic, electrical collection of visual peacockery?
I swear that, last year, Terry and I were extra diligent in winding all those strings of lights and baubles into neat, accessible piles in storage boxes reserved for no other purpose. They are large plastic containers with lids that allow the stacking of their twins on top – there must be four or five of them – and have been loaded onto racks in the garage to be left undisturbed for the duration.
Within the course of the last year, the gremlins have crept in and wreaked all kinds of havoc. It looks more like a twirled maypole in there. How does that happen?
It seems that the race to erect these festoons of festivity gets earlier each year – roughly the same time as Costco displays its Christmas wares – about two weeks after Easter, I think. Seriously, some folks locally put theirs up a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. It must be a real pain moving all those pumpkins around to allow access for ladders and boxes.
Now, at this time of year, when the weather can change with the hour, it’s a bit like playing Russian roulette to choose a warm enough day to avoid getting frostbite in your nether regions.
I’m sure the Christmas display industry depends on short-tempered people like me who refuse to unravel the travails of Christmas past – I’ve spent too many useless and futile hours of twirling and curling strings of lights around various trees and inanimate objects, only to stand back, plug the whole lot in and find a miscreant bulb which refuses to play along with all the rest. Why is it that they all go out when one doesn’t work? Any amount of prodding and pulling with frozen fingertips renders no success, just another trip to Home Depot to do what one should have done in the first place – throw the old ones away and start over with a brand new set. I’ve now learned to plug them in first, inspect the snaking strand and then put them up only if all burst into expectant life.
Then there’s the question of color. Are you an all-white household or do you introduce a smattering of stylish reds and greens at the doorway? Do you go all out to stun the neighbors and recreate Myrtle Beach in the middle of suburbia with every color known to the human visual spectrum. Have you noticed the inclusion of blue lights in the last few years? You never saw that when I was growing up. Blue! Who knew!
Then there are the new LED lights. I find them to emit a chilly light, unfriendly, somehow. The old fashioned ones, while being in keeping with the precepts against global warming, throw a warm welcoming glow around like a grandmother’s woolly shawl. No doubt some government edict will preclude their future availability and the warmth of Christmas wishes will go the way of Christmas card greetings – politically correct but coolly meaningless.
With all that in mind, I think I’ll go through the motions and dig out last year’s warm, glowing, snaky strings, including the icicles to hang from the eaves along with the bangles and baubles to hang from conifers out front just to see the excited glow from my grandson’s face.
That alone makes the whole exercise entirely worthwhile.