Hanging Christmas Lights Review

The question that runs through my mind every year at this time is "Is it worth it?" You know what I mean, getting in the attic and pulling down roughly 60 boxes marked XMAS and then digging through them in your freezing garage trying to piece together a couple of still working strands. I know that I take great care packing everything after the previous season, but it still all comes out a jumbled mess with 50% of the lights "out". I am also a fan of the icicle hanging style of Christmas lights, so if 1 goes ...1/4 of the strand goes out. Have you ever tried to find the one that is out? The combinations and permutations of one, two, or even three burnt bulbs creates a matrix of possibilities that is essentially impossible to cover. So I throw the strand out and buy new ones. It is maddening.

Plus, they are only going to be up for a month or so, that is, unless you are married to my wife. We are a little psycho on the Christmas "thang" and like to get a head start. She likes so much of a head start that I am actually a little embarrassed when I come home at night mid-November and see the lights on. The first thing I do after walking in the door is dash to the drapes and pull them shut. To give you an idea, at this very moment I literally have a fully illuminated Christmas tree in my front window approximately six feet from two painted Jack-O-Lanterns that still adorn my damn front porch. Yeah, I've got Halloween and Christmas decorations up at the same frickin' time.

There are some pluses to starting the holiday season in September though, you have good weather for climbing ladders and hanging the outside lights, plus daylight lasts until about 10pm, so your good to go hanging them after work. Some say the rule is to never turn them on until after Thanksgiving, our rule is to never turn them on past St. Patty's Day.

Hanging the bloody things does bring the whole "Is it worth it?" question to another level. Case in point. I work with a man, we'll call him Tim Dalton, who literally almost died putting up his Christmas lights about four years ago. He did like a lot of you and waited until December to put up the lights. It was a little snowy so he thought a piece of carpet on his roof would give him some traction. Well...he did end up in traction. Word to the wise, don't hang off your snowy roof with nothing but a piece of carpet to hold on to. You'll hit the pavement like winterized Humpty Dumpty. The guy is fine now but was laid up for several months and walked with a cane for several more. Worst part about it is the fact that we have now coined the phrase "Don't pull a Dalton" at work and attribute it to any dumb-ass idea. You can't live something like that down.

My kids love them, my wife loves them, and we all know that if the kids and wife are happy, I'm happy. So I say, get 'em up early and keep 'em up late. You will have a lot longer to enjoy them and you just may save your own life.

There are some things in this world that I don't look forward to:
The Dentist
Plucking nose hairs.

Add "hanging Christmas lights" to the list.

Every year man looks death in the face, and climbs up on the roof to tempt the fire code. Why do we do it??
First, the kids really like the lights. That alone is worth the bother.
Second is the peer pressure. We just moved to a new neighborhood. The neighbors have mentioned that a sign is placed on the main road declaring our group of houses "Christmas Village." I'm not Jewish nor Jehovah's witness, although I'm considering conversion to get out of hanging lights.

The end result is kind of nice. I'll admit that coming home on a snowy night seeing the lights on the house is kind of cool. But is it worth it??

One advantage that some may have is familiarity. I've lived in 3 houses in the past 8 years, and that makes the Christmas light design "difficult."
In fact, hanging Christmas lights is a lot like kissing girls in high school.
When you first hook up with a girl, you're kind of apprehensive, and perhaps hold back a little. The more time you spend necking in the back seat of your car, the more comfortable you become, and develop a routine. Maybe she likes getting kissed on the neck? Maybe an earlobe?? Who knows?
Then she dumps you and you move on to a different girl. The whole process starts over. You think you have good moves from the previous girlfriend, but you don't break them all out on the first date.

In my first house, it was similar to this. After a couple years of hanging lights, I developed a routine on where the lights would hang, which strands to use, etc. And then we moved...and then moved again.
I recently put up lights on our new house, and only got to "1st base" in the scheme of things. I didn't put many up, and will re-evaluate next year how far I want to go.

And then the neighbor tells my wife that lights on our roof line is NOT enough!! We need to put them on all trees, windows, and over the garage. I wonder what everyone will think when I form my Christmas lights into the shape of a flip-off. Maybe I'll use blinking lights.


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