Christmas Lights

It’s the time of year when we shake the dust off the boxes, unwrap ornaments and untangle the lights. In this home, I’m the one who walks up and down the stairs to bring the boxes of decorations up from the basement. I tuck a Santa here and a snowman there. I place the Nativity scene in the dining room and each ornament on the tree. The inside of the house I’ve got down, it’s the outside that I seem to struggle.

Many years ago, I decided I was going to really decorate the outside of my house. I bought boxes and boxes of lights, large light-up stars and extra extension cords.  Starting in the early afternoon, I began wrapping the lights around green garland and did my best to attach it all to the brick facade. I wrestled and cussed my way through the process. The large stars that should have been easy to snap together and plug right in, broke, parts were missing or only half  of the star would light up. 

Friends would drive by, honk their horn and yell encouraging things. I was determined to do it and be done by nightfall. That evening I had plans to go to a neighborhood women’s party. I did finish. Lights were up. After dressing for the evening, I walked across the street to my neighbor Pam’s house to ride with her to the party. When I entered her house, she bragged to her husband Jim about me putting up Christmas lights and how they needed to do the same. Jim reluctantly got up out of his cozy easy chair and went to the window to look at my wonderous light display. “Wow! That’s some light show you’ve got going on there, Mary!” I walked up beside him to take in the sight and immediately we both started dying laughing. One part of the lights were in rapid blinking mode, another part doing the chasing thing and the others were completely off or standing still.

Still to this day, about this time every year, Jim will ask me how my lights are doing. He wonders if he needs to call the local electric company to warn them of the intense surge that will happen with my “display”. Today was the day for the annual Christmas lights and decorating of the outside of my house. Every year I try to get it right. I want it to look pretty, not over the top, but not looking like it did that first yearI had these large outdoor ornaments I’ve used in years before and this year I thought they should hang from this tree. I pulled out a tall ladder, set it up beside the tree and tried to reach as high as I could, but being height challenged I didn’t get too far up. Lucky for Thomas, when he came home from school I put his long arms and legs to use.

With the ornaments up, it was time to throw the lights up. Yes, we literally threw them up. Thomas would get a length if lights in his hand and then he would chuck them up to the top of the tree. Not too bad of a technique. Not too precise or professional, but it worked for our purposes.Thomas had to leave, so I was left to finish on my own. The interior of the tree needed lights, so what’s the best way to get those little boogers in there? Well, you climb the tree of course! Let’s just say, this old, fat lady does not climb trees like she used to. Add to that the tangled mess I was trying to work with.And Sam was of NO help. It was so ridiculous that I just started giggling at this situation I had gotten myself in again. I’m not sure how the lights are going to get untangled from the tree when it’s time to pack it all up again. I guess I’ll worry about that in a month or so.As the sun set, I plugged this baby in. Even the snowman on the stoop looked in awe.I like it. As I was fiddling with the lights, a family rode by on their bikes. One of the children shouted out “Daddy look! A Christmas tree!” That’s good enough for me. I’m sure that when I see Jim, he’ll ask about my lights. I’ll just tell him that to see it, is to believe it. 

Hopefully, when people drive by my house at night this Christmas season and see my little tree lit up with its colored lights, they will smile and be reminded of the light of God that came to earth as a baby child.

Thanks for dropping by!

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