It’s that time of year. Typically I try to do it in Thanksgiving week but I’ll be out doing it tomorrow. Yes – it’s the time of year to put up the Christmas lights… the outside Christmas lights. These days I have a nice set of lights that I have stored perfectly and that clip right into place… nice and neat. And although it’s going to be cold (mid-20’s) it’s all organized, ready to go and will be a fairly easy job.
Growing up, not so much.
Growing up, putting up the lights was a chore. It was usually my Dad and me, and sometimes my younger brother. There were a few reasons that putting up our lights back then was so much work.
To begin with – we used to put up a lot of them – all around our big deck and the entire perimeter of the house. Not a big house, but a lot of second story work. We also never seemed to do the exact design twice. I think that it was due more to the fact that every year another string would stop working or go missing.
We used the big lights back then – the type where you screwed each bulb in – and it sometimes took forever to get them all working, and they got really hot and burned your hand if you grabbed them for too long. Probably the biggest thing was that we had to nail every string up, and we used old style brads and hammers. Nothing like holding trying to hold the lights taut, hold the tiny brads in place and trying to swing the hammer in the snow or cold weather.
I have vivid memories of being very cold and wet when putting up lights… but they’re still good memories because they make me recall the great Christmases that I had growing up. It seemed like back then all of the neighbors in good ol’ suburbia put up lots of Christmas lights. Then - in the early ‘70s, we had the energy crisis and everyone became very energy conscious. It was rare to see lights up on any house for awhile and it was pretty depressing. It seemed that many of the people never started putting lights up again after that… kind of used it as an excuse.
Anyway – this would be a great weekend for you all to get your light up! Let’s get those neighborhoods a-glowing!