Go Green on Outdoor Lights
John Norberg, humor columnist s

It's the middle of March, and I guess you know what that means.

It's time to start thinking about taking down the Christmas lights off the house.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't say it's time to do it yet. I just said it was time to start thinking about it. There's a big difference.

Every year I put our Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving with great delight. The anticipation of the season is exciting. I wait for a nice fall day and up they go. When we finish Thanksgiving Dinner, I turn on the lights and the Christmas season begins.

By December 25 I am exhausted from Christmas. There is no way I'm getting the lights down. I've gained 10 pounds and I can hardly stand up.

But when should Christmas decorations come down?

A lot of people believe Christmas lights should come down on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Others say they should stay up until the Twelfth Day of Christmas which can be marked on the 5th or 6th of January.

I notice a lot of people like me still have lights in the front yard, on bushes trees and the house. And just for the record Sunday would have been the 80th Day of Christmas, if there were such a thing.

Wife: "Do you think we can get the Christmas lights down before Easter?"

Me: "I'm just waiting for a day that isn't below zero with snow, sleet and 40 mile an hour winds."

Wife: "I repeat. Do you think we can get the Christmas lights down before Easter which is on April 20th."

Me: "I can't make any promises."

The Christmas lights on our house have been up for about four months now or one-third of the year. If this goes on much longer I might just as well leave them up for next Christmas.

They would look nice to welcome guests to a barbeque patio party this summer, if summer ever arrives.

My wife takes care of the inside Christmas decorations and they were long ago packed up, put in their boxes and neatly stored. The tree came down a few days after Christmas.

Wife: "I think traditions are important. We need to continue the old traditions and make some new ones. This year let's start a new tradition. Why don't you help me take the tree down without any grumbling and complaining."

Me: "I hate taking down Christmas decorations. It's depressing. My tradition is to sing carols while the tree decorations go up and grumble and complain when I have to take them down."

Wife: "If you want anymore of that Christmas chocolate pie you'll skip the grumbling this year."

Me: "Grumble, grumble . . ."

Wife: "I'll give the chocolate pie to the grandkids to take home. I mean it . . ."

Taking down outside lights is a man's job which basically means it's going to get put off as long as possible.

But clearly this winter has made taking down the lights in a timely manner impossible. The lights on the bushes have been buried under a foot of snow and I haven't even seen them since the first week of January. And I'm certainly not going outside when it's below zero to stand on a ladder and take lights off the house. I'd probably freeze there and my wife wouldn't be able to get me down until May.

Some people have a waving Santa on a sleigh in their front yard. We'd have a frozen husband on a ladder.

I don't know if these horrible, cold, snowy winters are here to stay. But next November when it's time to decorate the house again I'm going with all green Christmas lights.

That way they'll be great and normal clear through St. Patrick's Day.

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