2017-12-06 / Community View


Huge fan of lights, displays during holidays

Who is he? I really want to know. Who is the Clark Griswold of Lapeer County? Who is that man, or woman, who takes Christmas from just a few twinkling lights to a guaranteed holiday bonus for one or more utility plant crews?

In my family, it’s my sister. If you’ve noticed a brilliant glow to the southwest late at night in the past few days, it’s likely her.

When my sister flips the switch on her Christmas decorations, the lights in the village next to her house dim.

For years she’s bought tons of lights and decorations the week after Christmas and blown whatever she saved the following year on utility bills.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas displays. The bigger, the bolder, the better.

If I’d won Lotto this year, the day after Thanksgiving my neighbors would have thought a dwarf star had gone supernova. If they knew this was a possibility, they would probably go out and buy all the Lotto tickets within 50 miles, just to be safe.

I can’t help it. I’ve never been a fan of winter and the only thing that takes the edge off is a blaze of colored lights. As far as I’m concerned, the only reason to have snow is to have something for the lights to reflect off.

The other night I met my beloved at a work party and on the way, I passed a home on a pond where the homeowner had encased his house and every tree and shrub with deep blue lights. The way the lights danced on the pond gave me a shiver.

There’s another homeowner who’s created a wall of inflatables in front of his house. I look forward to it on my way home from work and I’m bummed when it’s a pile of ripstop on my way to work in the morning.

There’s just something about the glow of plastic, the shimmer of ripstop and the twinkle of lights in the winter’s gloom that just makes me feel good.

The worst part of New Year’s Eve is the realization that in a couple of days the lights will start winking out and I’ll have to spend most of January and all of February with nothing more cheery than tail lights in the darkness.

If I had my way the Christmas lights would blaze away through St. Patrick’s Day. As it is, my beloved and I have an annual tiff over the Christmas decorations. She wants to box ’em up and send them back to the basement New Year’s Day and I argue for keeping things up until Three Kings Day.

We compromise, sort of, and things slowly start disappearing. Maybe it’s the little kid in me, but I just do not want to let go of the sparkle.

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