11 December 2006

I'm DEFINITELY No Clark Griswold...

But I'm in the middle of "doing the lighting gig" for the holidays...always a treat. Except when the cats want to play with the wires, or a bulb causes the whole string to NOT light, or having too short an extension cord AFTER you got them up...that kind of stuff. It's all about how one defines the word "treat", I guess, eh?
Now I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to lighting, I'm really not an amateur. I haven't gotten "zapped" in ages, and I plan things out ahead of time. And with anything you do around the house, there's "tasteful', and then there's "gaudy"...and then there's "WTF is that guy thinking"!

I like to place myself into the first category...enough lights to let anyone driving past KNOW that it's Christmas time. I like the candles in the windows, as well as some multicolors (blinkies) framing the front windows. I even put a green or blue spotlight outside our garage (I like the way the colored light hits the snow (when we get some). Indoors we have the tree lights (naturally), and maybe some lights in the family room, but NOTHING close to rivaling the Griswold House. Yet some people DO go "all out"....

((If anyone DOES want to follow Clark's "lead"...here's a good source:)) http://www.griswoldhome.com/

So it's at this time of year we blow the dust off of the boxes and haul everything upstairs for another viewing. And every year, without fail...SOME portion of the lights refuses to work...I call the reason the "Lighting Gremlins". I mean how could something that worked 100% when you PUT THEM AWAY go bad when they were NEVER disturbed for a whole YEAR???? If I can figureTHAT out, I could be a millionaire. That's why we always hit the stores right AFTER Christmas for cheap-ass bargains for more lights (as well as cards, garland, etc).

One thing I did add this year is one of those animated deer alongside our house on the (enclosed) patio side. I'd love to place it our front, but with our "locals" around here...it'll only wind up in someone ELSE'S house (real fast). A former neighbor had one of those spiral lit christmas trees out front of his house 2 years ago (looked damn nice)...for about 3 DAYS! Whoever stole it DID leave the extension cord (how nice of them), but my neighbor refrained from any further "outside" lighting". What IS amazing is that the houses of ethnic families never seem to be bothered, and a lot of them are WELL DECORATED WITH LIGHTS....(reverse racism, anyone?) If anyone knows of such a family that was "relieved" of their outdoor lighting or decorations, please feel free to post...I'd love to know about it. I've thought about a "cure" for that....rig an auto iginition coil (with a power inverter) in line with the A/C power supply...anyone "tampering" with it gets a nice 40,000 jolt to "wise them up". I'll bet the city wouldn't allow it though....it's just a thought...heh, heh, heh.

Anyway, back to that deer....the price was right.....it was a gift from our uncle in Portland (the right front leg won't light...go figure). I tested every bulb that the tester "showed was bad"...but at least it works well otherwise. We also have a trellis out back near the garden, and I've been dickering with placing lights on that....would be kind of cool-looking at that (especially with chaser lights). Hell, if we had people around here that didn't spend their (useless) lives STEALING FROM OTHERS, we'd probably do a lot more with outdoor decoration. In some respects, that would be nice..it's just a damn shame others don't want YOU to enjoy the season they way you'd like...

So, we don't go hog wild...not around here. I'd much rather have SECURITY lighting...and believe me, anyone that OWNS a house here will agree in a Philly heartbeat! One thing we ALWAYS do is take DOWN the lights after Christmas (usually after January 6th - Epiphany), unlike a lot of folks around here that feel those lights work JUST AS WELL for EASTER...!!! Sorry, but RED & GREEN aren't as "festive" for springtime, as say.....shades of PASTELS.

Something I always keep in mind is the ELECTRIC BILL. Many others don't, and perhaps that's WHY they wind up moving...who knows? I just figure if it comes down to HEATING or LIGHTING...sorry, Santa, but I'd MUCH rather keep from freezing my cajones off than having enough lights to land a 747 at my house. Besides, the way the FWIA brings IN those huge cargo planes, they must think our HOUSES are the outer markers of their runways! Santa's going to be dodging some heavy traffic THIS year...LOL! One thing we might try next year are some of those LED lights...they're supposed to use LESS electricity, but they cost more (nice trade-off). Maybe an after-holiday "bargain" still awaits...???

So there you have it....we're not going to be tripping any "emergency circuits" at the local Utility Company (favorite scene in Chrstmas Vacation), but we'll do OK.

Remember....if you put ALL that stuff UP...it has to ALL come DOWN as well...(eventually)...LMAO!

1 comment:

Jana said...

oh I LOVE Christmas lights! David and I don't put them up though, since we'll be down in Mississippi this time next week. our relatives have tons of them anyway. lol...

but, I do have one problem at the moment:

I'm photosensitive and lights that blink faster than lights on the average Christmas tree (say, every 5 seconds or so) set me off. Our neighbors across the way have lights along their fronch porch that blink about every second or so. It's all I can do not to look at them whenever David and I go outside at night to the car.

But, it IS pretty, and all I have to do is advert my eyes.


and as to people stealing other people's lights, they'd be walking away with extra holes in their ass if they tried to pull that stunt around where my relatvies live. see, they have security alarms of the 4-legged kind if you catch my drift...