Friday, January 04, 2013

Tis The Season For Lights

What a delightful time of year. As I take my evening dog walk, every year I see more holiday lights on roof eaves, around windows trees and bushes and Christmas trees. I’ve seen some homeowners hang their own string lights using tall, heavy, ladders. Others are hiring professionals to do the jobs. You generally know it’s a professional job, because the lights are straight with no sag.

I don’t have a favorite string of lights. Sometimes just white lights reflect the worldly taste of the owners; less is more, simple but refined   Other times, I feel like a child seeing his first multi-colored, sparkly Christmas tree. “Life is good,” the display says. Friends down the street decorate with blue string lights at the bottom of a tree in their landscaping and gradually, as they wind up the tree, switch to white lights that end way out on the ends of tree limbs.

I’ve noticed that hanging lights involving couples can be stressful. Both think they have the right answers and seek control over placement. My wife and I bickered for a few years until I stopped fighting and just said, “Yes, dear!” Who really cares? It’s not as if the world is going to end if a string is hung wrong.

This Christmas season we spent part of Christmas Eve touring the Festival of Lights at the Grotto east of Portland. It was a dry, crisp night and every tree and path was lit with party lights. There were paper lanterns illuminating the small grotto plaza and electric lights in sacks outlined all the paths.

After New Years day is the traditional time to take down all the strings and wreathes and baubles, put them in sacks and hide in storage until Thanksgiving. Once again, at that time, you’ll need to decide whether to be a kid or a sophisticate.

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