Christmas lights (HLD 251)

28 Nov 2020

It’s getting close to that time of the year when I try to work out exactly how carried away I’m going to get regarding decorating our house with lights for Christmas.

There are a couple of options. There is the most likely option of putting up a few batches of solar powered lights out the front of the house. The usual Christmas tree lights will be visible, given the tree gets placed near the glass double doors at the front of the house. It’s fairly festive, and given that our street is not an overly enthusiastic one regarding Christmas lights, it sets a fairly low standard that others don’t attempt to outdo.

Solar powered lights are just the best. You hang them up, you make sure your little charging panel is placed somewhere it’s gonna get sunlight during the day, and you get to sit back and bask in your magnificent work. It gets dark, the lights come on. Eventually, long after you’ve gone to bed, they run out of steam and turn off. Until the miracle happens again the next night! Even if you have a cloudy day, you always get enough oomph for your lights to show how much you care.

I could, of course, drag out the lights that are tucked away around the house and go nuts out the front of the house. We have a couple of reindeer that I brought back from the US. I re-wired them with lights that will work in this country, and if I’m honest I may have gone a little excessive in this re-wiring. From a gentle glow to hint at the presence of a metal reindeer, my excessive use of replacement lights will knock your socks off. And possibly take your eyeballs out in the process.

I could place the reindeer somewhere out the front, but that would require extension chords, power boards, and timers to make them go on and off at a suitable time. I’d then have to get a little bit more creative with the other lights than just hanging them in the carport. I’d probably have to put them up through trees, over the front fence, hang stuff from gutters, and so forth.

It does sound like a lot of effort. I mean, I like to have the house looking festive, but not at the expense of a lot of work.

Some people do, and all power to them. I know of people who start their preparations MONTHS ahead of time. The expense, the time, the effort – its all very laudable. If I could achieve this with solar lights, and maybe have someone else plan it and put it up for me, then maybe I’d consider it.

Actually, scratch that. It’s highly unlikely.

About three or four years ago, I bought a very long strand of lights (not solar!!). We strung them (and when I say we, I do of course mean that the tall people in my house were instructed as to where they should hang the lights) in the back courtyard, weaving back and forth until we finally reached the end of the strand. We installed a WiFi controlled smart switch that we could operate via an app on our phones, and Christmas and New Year was very festive that year.

I forgot to take them down. We adjusted the app so that the lights came on each weekend, and they merrily did this throughout the year. At Christmas the following year, we increased the days the lights came on again, looking instantly festive. And dropped it back to weekend only afterwards.

It really is the best way to do your Christmas lights – leave them in place until next year, and then with a few clicks on your phone, your caring and sharing nature is once again evident to passers-by.

If only I had room to store a fully decorated Christmas tree too 🧐

What’s your routine regarding lighting up your house for Christmas?

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