DIH is proud that she got her Christmas lights up early. And I did it without the help of "Christmas Lights, Inc." or whatever that company's called- the guys with cranes and cherry-pickers that prowl about my neighborhood seeking the ruin of utilities bills and bank accounts. Although I suppose if you're hiring ten guys with a crane to put up your Christmas lights, you're probably not too worried about your bank account.
No, I prefer to keep things simple. Simple, as in my childhood. When Christmas Eve meant us kids sitting on the floor in the livingroom, watching the lights blink on the tree as we twiddled our thumbs in the dark, waiting until it was time to go to Midnight Mass. We would have liked to have sat on the sofa, but my father was always stretched out on it asleep by ten pm. For me the gentle flickering of Christmas lights will always be bound up with the sound of my father's snoring. Ah, memories.
Driving my daughter to school in the early morning darkness, I admire some of the neighbors' lights. There are a few I don't quite get. One house has wavy strips of gold lights hanging from a dogwood. It looks like a bacon tree. Good news for the dogs, not exactly inspiring to the rest of us. Then there's the family next to the school, who a) thoughtfully leave their Christmas tree lit so the arriving kiddies can enjoy it but b) use those ultra-fast-flashing lights, the ones that make it look like the tree is having a seizure. Not exactly what a rattled carpooler needs first thing in the am.
I'm not sure how long my strands of Christmas lights will last this year. The dog seems to find them very tasty. I had to take her to the vet a couple of weeks ago for an x-ray. Her digestive tract was strewn with bits of chewed-up wiring. I've already had to yank down a few half-eaten strands. I just hope I still have a few left on the 25th.