* My goodness, the Thanksgiving dishes were barely put away when I heard a ruckus outside, and sure enough, Christmas was arriving. Well, not exactly Christmas, but Christmas lights. Both of my neighbors across the street were stringing away, up ladders, over windows, around bushes. Now, this made for a very pretty view outside my window that night, but it did also increase my little holiday pressure gauge. One neighbor, in particular, looked like he was intending to raise the stakes this year and I explained to him how I thought the neighborly thing to do was to collectively keep the bar as low as we could for the sake of each others’ sanity. He laughed, but then started looking at his rooftop again. Why do I feel there will be reindeer (like in this photo) up there by tonight? (Thank goodness he didn’t go anywhere near Halloween lights, which is an emerging trend that, really, needs to be squelched.)
* This, of course is an “ages and stages” thing. My kids are post “believing in Santa” and we are starting to wind down a little regarding the holiday decorations. It might not be long before we’re the lame electric-candles-in-the-windows family. His kids, however, are in the Santa sweet-spot, and will be for years to come (considering that baby). (Still in the Santa stage in your house? See here for some Santa help, including printable letters from the Big Guy.) See Babies and the Changes They Bring Home for some ways that that life stage changes life as you previously knew it!
* For now, I’m stuck with the LED lights on which I spent a small fortune a couple of years ago. I don’t really like them–they don’t twinkle–but I do like that they use less energy, blah, blah, blah. And I do like that this family went to town with a big display of lights, 90% of which are LEDs, and got lots of great media coverage for it. Now, if someone can just invent a version that twinkles, I’m sold.
* If you, however, love holiday lights but just don’t have the time or the ability (or, should I say, agility) to climb ladders and dangle from dormers, consider hiring a company to do it for you. I used to consider this dreadfully pretentious (I mean, c’mon, there are just some things we should do ourselves, or ask friends or relatives to help do) but my neighbor (the one probably at the store right now, getting more supplies) told me that other neighbors of ours (ones with a truly gorgeous light display–around the block, thank goodness) hire their lawn care company to do the lights, as they offer this service at a time when lawns are simply not needing snipping anymore. I guess you could say that I “saw the light” at that moment–hiring someone to hang your lights helps a local company keep its cash flowing, keeps more money circulating in the local economy, and yes, I admit it, would lighten my load during a very busy time of the year. And as that ladder gets harder to climb in the coming years, local service pros like this might even keep me from becoming “the candle house.” Or maybe I can just start putting all the effort into the front door, such as what’s pictured. I could probably do this with just a stepladder, don’t you think? (See more holiday door decorating ideas here.)
Need help with your holiday lights? Search Kudzu for service pros who can come and take care of it for you. Talk about Christmas magic! (Or ask your lawncare company. Ya’ never know.) And, by the way, let’s give a special shout-out to women, who make or influence 85% of all consumer purchase decisions in this country. When you hire local service pros, local economies benefit, and if there’s one gift we need this holiday season, it’s that. So, thank you.