Kathleen Norton

Let there be light

Posted on: December 24, 2010

We have nearly frozen to death, electrocuted ourselves and caused a major blip in the northeastern corridor power grid – all in the name of Christmas lights.

And we cannot stop.

OK, I confess. He would probably stop at any time. But I am not happy until every tree, every shrub, every inch of railing and every gutter is draped, wrapped and bedecked with shining, glittering, glowing, glaring Christmas lights.

Do not get me wrong. I am not a holly, jolly person who goes around wishing goodwill toward everyone for the entire, bloody month of December.

No, by Christmas, I’ve had so much extra sugar and stress that I no longer dream of a white Christmas, but I do dream of burning down the mall using the massive ball of crumpled gift receipts growing in the bottom of my purse.

Yet, I love the winter holiday lights.

So, right after we’ve wrapped up the Thanksgiving leftovers, I begin watching the Weather Channel like a hawk and start throwing “subtle’’ hints on getting outside and getting to work.

“Well, would you look at that!’’ I’ll say. “Kelly Cass says there’s a warm front moving in on Sunday! Good day to work on the lights!’’

To which he will respond: “&*%$@ lights!’’

Yet, he goes along because if there is one thing he has learned in 30 years of marriage (besides to NEVER do my delicate laundry after that one horrible incident) is that hell hath no fury like a light lunatic scorned.

Plus, he owes me big time.

As you read a few weeks ago, I suffered his obsession with tinsel for many years. I mean, come on. Until he got help, he blanketed our Christmas trees with so much shiny stuff we had to wear protective eyes goggles during the holidays.

Isn’t it only fair that he suffers, too?

All the single people out there think this is nuts. But all the longtime couples know exactly what I mean.

So, he goes along with my light fixation, though part of me suspects he is enjoying himself, despite the complaining.

After all, “doing the lights’’ involves countless trips to the hardware store for gadgets. We use every extension cord in sight, set up timers, light sensors and even rig an indoor remote control system.

In general, we create a fragile electrical hodgepodge, despite a lack of any professional training.

What more could a man ask for?

He can grumble all he wants. I think he’s just as thrilled as I am when we throw the switch for the first time and yell: “Let there be light!’’

And this year, there was a bonus. The grand-toddler, also known as the Apple of His Eye, added her two cents. “Hi Christmas Lights!’’ she shouted on the first night.

Apparently, it’s in her genes.

So what if our lights are so bright they’ve become a navigational tool for local air traffic?

So what if neighbors voted our yard “Holiday display most likely to be mistaken for Times Square?’’

In this house, it’s a tradition.

The holidays come with a light show that would make Las Vegas blush, or they don’t come at all.


6 Responses to "Let there be light"

Maybe you have a little Griswald blood in you!
I also love those holiday lights- in white please- and hate the darkness when they all come down. Did my own lights this year while Jim was at work so I didn’t have to wait for him to be in ready! Enjoy!!

Love white, and blue! Just got back from Kara’s. Racing against the storm all the way. Sam was adorable. “Presents! Presents!” she kept saying.

We did white mixed with blue this year…really bright!

We thank you both for the beacon. We had the pilot set the course using your Christmas lights! From Las Vegas to home, just follow the light!

So when do you take all these lights down? My mother always said to take them down by New Years. On my street they are still up as of Jan 2nd. I think that still stretches the holiday mood, which is a good thing! lol

We wait for a Jan. thaw, or Feb thaw, or March thaw.

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