May 26, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 23:00
Even though it’s Lent and Easter is on the way, not to mention the Fourth of July, we still have our Christmas lights up, blinking every night like the entrance to Caesars Palace. If I bring in a few show girls, I’ll be the hit of the neighborhood and the envy of the guys on the block. Maybe I’ll apply for a gaming license.
Keeping your Christmas lights on all year long is socially acceptable in some parts of the country but not here, and I’m afraid my neighbors don’t think we have the level of respectability required to live on this street.
Pretty soon they’ll be rummaging through our recycling bin to uncover something to report to the Environmental Protection Agency.
But it warms the cockles of my heart when I pull into the driveway after a long day in the salt mines and see those lights blinking on the house like a capsized cruise ship, while the dog is in the window, howling like a pint-sized wolf every time a neighbor walks by or the FedEx man drives down the street or Girl Scouts and Jehovah Witnesses knock on the door.
These are pleasures money can’t buy.
The problem is we always put the lights up on Christmas Eve, which effectively gives us 72 hours of authorized viewing time. Our neighbors take theirs down the day after Christmas, largely because they put them up on Labor Day and have an electric bill the size of Houston’s.
It’s more socially acceptable to be three months early than three months late because people have no tolerance for Christmas lights or the spirit of giving when Tax Day approaches and they have to give to the government.
This year we didn’t even put up a tree until Christmas Eve when I went to Trader Joe’s and bought one of those little potted evergreen plants of unknown species for five dollars and threw on some bulbs and blinking lights and started singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” After a few minutes and quite a few drinks, everyone was in the spirit of the season.
I know people who decorate extravagantly with reindeer, nativity scenes, candy canes and Santa, but I’m lazy about this stuff. However, to keep up with the Joneses, along with the Papadopouloses, I ordered Bethlehem lights from Brookstone that cost so much I decided to get a good return on my investment and let them blink until the batteries burn out.
I’m thinking, though, of finding something more appropriate for the season, like those colored Easter eggs that I can hang from the shutters and gutters ... but only if they blink.
I’m not one of those handyman guys, which means it’s a life crisis just to cut the lawn, and in 20 years I haven’t been able to get the doorbell to work, so these Christmas lights are a milestone in my career as a homeowner, an achievement I want to savor. A new day is dawning. Maybe I’ll start writing for Better Homes and Gardens or Martha Stewart Magazine.
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