by Dave Mindeman
I may be way off base and a complete Scrooge to say this, but I hate Christmas lights.
Hate may be too strong a word, but I have never seen the point. I know a lot of people consider it some kind of tradition. Many think they are "stunningly" beautiful. Why, they even have limousine tours that let people see the most extravagant examples of Christmas light excess.
I often think of Chevy Chase in the movie "Christmas Vacation" and his monument to the biggest array of lights on the block. When he finally gets it to work and puts his sunglasses on to view it, it brings a tear to his eye.....as the power meter dials spin at warp speed.
I have learned to shut up about this pet peeve of mine. People look at me as if I have committed sacrilege to express the idea that this might all be.....well, a "waste"????
Sure, its all kind of pretty. Some of it is cute. Yeah, kids love the lights (although its the presents they really love). But I often wonder how much of the electrical grid could be spared the overload if we just didn't light up the night.
Just to show you that I am not completely off base, I'm perfectly OK with lighting Christmas trees in the home and lights inside...hey, maybe even a string or two by the front door.
But 8 foot Frosty the Snowmen or Santa's sleigh with 8 life size reindeer or a full manger scene with the baby Jesus glowing to near radioactive brightness? Really?
In a world where we argue incessantly about energy policy, gas prices, and aging infrastructure, do Christmas lights (at least the way Americans do it) fit into that discussion in a realistic way?
I know I am spitting into the wind. After all, stores have row upon row of decorations and lights. And after Christmas, people continue to supplement their aresenal for next year by getting those 80% off bargains. It has become the American way.
But as for me, I guess I'll just continue in my Scrooge-like ways.