multi-hyphenated-me

the hyphens that define my life

Festival of Lights December 4, 2013

Light the lights, it’s 21 days, 3 short weeks, until Christmas.

Today I attempted to channel Clark Griswold from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and spend my lunch break with the start of our outdoor Christmas light extravaganza.  My goal today was simple.  I thought my greatest challenge was working outside in 24 degree weather.  My task was simple, put five humble net lights on our front bushes. I allotted 20-30 minutes to accomplish this task with most of the time anticipated being spent digging out extension cords.

Before heading out into the frigid air, I plugged in each set to ensure the lights lit up without issue. With all lights working well, I donned my down jacket, scarf, hat and gloves and marched into the front yard with the five sets of lights.  I was speedy and efficient, laying out the nets just so.  When the nets were in place, I ran up the driveway to the garage to find the extra long extension cord.  The extension cord was plugged in, the lights were in place, I was ready for my Griswold moment of lighting the lights.

No sparks, no fizzles, no explosions, just unlit lights.  Not all, just two sections of two different sets didn’t light despite the fact that they just lit up in the house.  My conundrum was an invitation to my neighbors who were watching my efforts from the warmth of their homes.  A few trudged over to advise me to check the lights before I installed them.  Genius.  Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks ever so much for the great tip.

After a bit of time was spent yucking it up with my generous neighbors, I realized my allotted time was ticking away quickly.  I pulled all the nets off the bushes, chucked the whole pile into the garage and stomped into the house, defeated.

This afternoon I remembered the colored light strands that I would have normally used on the Christmas tree were available.  Aha!  I’m back in action.

Fueled with delicious latkes that I finally got around to make, in the pitch black darkness and 14 arctic degrees I headed back outside and strung colored lights on our front bushes.  More neighbors came out (stay inside you fools, it’s cold outside!) to encourage me, one couple told me we are just making the house more and more beautiful.  Really?  All we have done outside is planted six bushes that resulted in every fire truck in the city and shutting down multiple streets and now hung 700 colored lights, in a straight line, along the top of our bushes.

Hardly a festival of lights, nowhere close to being Griswold worthy, but we did manage to honor Hanukkah before it ends tomorrow night and, the neighbors are right, the lights do look beautiful.  Really beautiful if you appreciate a Charlie Brown Christmas.

[photos to follow when decorating is complete.]

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