Flip the switch

I will never understand what it is about Christmas lights that make me so ridiculously happy, but I know, as I have driven through much of Wellington County lately, that I am not alone.

Many people have decided to forego their angst over their electricity bills in favour of turning their front lawns into a merry holiday spectacle.

I often think of writing fan mail to the folks who go all out and make their properties look like the ultimate Christmas light show. I am inspired by the pride people put into showcasing their homes, lighting up their trees and even adding inflatable cartoon creatures.

It’s like a beacon of happy, an LED flare of joy, if you will. It’s a defiant act that says, “I will enjoy this holiday and you can’t stop me.”

 You people are rock stars. You can truly say you make the season bright for all of us. Plug that in. Light it up. Turn on the happy. I want to flip that switch.

Even the Carpenter got into the spirit. However, he took the lazy way out: he bought those projected laser lights, or as I refer to them, Christmas lights for idiots.

I understand his rationale. No ladders to climb means ignoring the fact our roof needs to be redone. No playing “guess which bulb is blown,” and no tangled knots of wire and fragile glass bulbs that totally could have been avoided if he were not so frustrated when he took the lights down the last time.

Now, it’s simple: two black units get staked into the ground and beam bright laser beams that turn our house into a giant slide show of red and green snowflakes. It’s cheating, but it works.

Now I’m not calling my spouse an idiot (but if the plug fits … oh, I’m kidding). I love my Carpenter for taking the easy way out. Know why? He finished something. He said he’d put up Christmas lights and he did (it doesn’t take much to turn me on).

He continued to impress me by showing how the lights move in what the packaging called a “shooting star” pattern, but what I quickly renamed the motion-sickness motif. Trippy.

You should have seen the psycho cat, who spent hours chasing green and red laser beams that cascaded through the front windows, over furniture and up the walls, criss-crossing around the room. She was leaping over the sofa, running up and down the stairs, all in a dash to capture the light and make the madness end.

Somehow, I could relate. It’s almost as much fun as when my son and I pretend we’re thieves that have to dodge the laser alarms. Yes, we are idiots. But we know how to have fun.

So what if our living room looks like a Pink Floyd concert? Happiness should be this easy.

Flip that switch.


Kelly Waterhouse