Wanted: A scientist to untangle my lights

Published 6:25 am Saturday, December 1, 2018

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision that hanging Christmas lights on the front of the house, wasn’t going to happen this year.

From one stand-point it’s a practical decision. The bushes out front, whose days are numbered by the way, at least one of them, make moving a ladder around a major pain in buttocks (if you didn’t say it like Forest Gump, then you didn’t take that the right way).

The other was time — or lackthereof — got in the way. However, yet another reason is no doubt due to a bit of laziness. Hanging Christmas lights in the best of times is a hassle, of course starting with the tangle you know is waiting for you doesn’t make a person want to jump on it any quicker.

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I know I’ve talked about this in the past, so I’m beating a bit of a dead horse here, but the crisis of the tangle is an issue for everybody.

I don’t really have a solution other than to simply buy new lights, which I’ll admit is the route I choose to take. Lights aren’t that expensive and I don’t put that many up. The only lights I bought this year were a couple more boxes for the tree we just put up Monday, which truth be told might be the most we do for Christmas decorating this year.

We chose to go all blue this year, in case you care and in the interest of full transparency, we did purchase a small set to hang across the awning above our front steps. Also blue, again in case you care.

This brings me to the question of the really big light displays. How do they do it?

Hmmmm, that idiot is going to fall off the ladder. Metro image

There’s a house not far down from us that has their display up and I’m not going to lie, it’s impressive. Everything in its place and all the colors complimenting everything else.

It’s really a nice display and worth seeing, but the question I have is where does the time come from to do something like this and the will? If I had to guess, it probably has to do with the Christmas spirit. They clearly enjoy the holiday and if they enjoy it and put in the work to show off this love …

Good on them.

I, however, look at my house and think, “I can’t do that.” Followed quickly with, “I want hot chocolate.” Don’t worry, those things aren’t as random as they appear. Hot chocolate is more of a Christmas tradition than Christmas trees and lights.

But back to the issue of Christmas lights.

I just don’t have the energy to do that kind of display, because in the back of my mind I know that those lights have to come down. Sure there are some that leave their lights all year long, but I don’t believe the big displays do that. There’s something about walking outside with 93 degree temperatures to see twinkling lights staring at you that seems inherently wrong.

There’s just a whole lot of effort involved to just taking the lights down and then having to put them away.

A couple of years ago I bought net lights for the bushes out front and they looked neat. When it was time to take them down, I did so in a careful and gentle manner, dedicating special attention to folding them in such a way that they would unfold the next year when I put them on again.

Except. Always an except.

They were somehow twice as tangled as normal Christmas lights and physics would allow and if you’ve read this column for even a few months, you can probably guess what comes next. With the new tangle came new swear words.

Now, many of you might be saying to a significant other next to you, “I’ve talked to Eric in public and he doesn’t seem like he swears.” To which, the significant other probably replies with, “Who’s Eric?”

I’ve taken great care over the years to try not to swear in public and largely I think I’ve pulled that off. If nothing else, maybe it shows I’m bilingual. Fluent in both English and Swearing.

Ultimately, the lights got pitched followed by a solemn vow to never do net lighting again. Every time I see them now in the store I kind of want to break each one, light by light.

Sure, I would like to be a little more decorative, but man I just don’t have the will or energy to the do the big displays. I shouldn’t need to hire Boy Scouts to untangle my lighting knots each year.