Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Mediocrity

christmas light - dec 23, 2012

This muse was from Christmas of 2008.

For years, my wife has been asking me to put up outdoor Christmas lights. This year I decided to break down and try. After burning a hole in my wallet, I brought home a few boxes of lights.

I had no plan. I figured that if I simply strung up a few lights along the front eves, it would suffice. If I had time, I'd throw a few over the bushes and call it good. It would be gloriously simple. The kids would call me a hero and the neighbors would approve of my holiday cheer. It would be one of those houses you drive by and think "Oh, how nice" and then look at the next house.

As I began my project, I quickly grasped the complexity of the physics required to string lights along our high-arching eves. I also became conscious of the fact that I had one outlet to work with. All my estimates were falling very short.

"Well, I'll take this one step at a time" I thought to myself. "I'll string up the middle section, hook it up to some lights on the bushes and then take it from there." I began to work. Soon the middle section was complete and one set was on a small bush. I took an accounting of what assets I had left and what still lacked. I was two sections and three bushes short. I had one power strip, upping my outlet capacity to five, but I was all out of extension cords. I was also out of lights for the eves. The 50 foot estimate had doubled to 100 feet. I would have to buy at least another 50 feet to complete the project! The prospect of going to the store to buy more lights dampened my holiday spirit like seeing all your eggnog get dumped down the drain. I lost all drive. The whole project sputtered and came to a complete halt.

The sun set and the moment came to turn on the lights. The kids were outside. I flipped the switch and the kids squealed with joy. I walked out to the street and bowed my head in shame of the half-"butted" effort I gave.

Jim, our neighbor, came outside to take a look. "Looks good so far Rocky! When you going to finish it?" I hesitated and then mumbled something to the effect of "in a few days." But I knew it wouldn't be done this year. The eves above the garage and above the left side of the house were black holes. No cheer emanated from the sides. But the middle 50 feet and the one bush shone gloriously. I felt like Charlie Brown bringing home a dumb ole Christmas tree whose needles were falling off and could not support a single ornament.

But at least our young kids loved it and I guess that is what's important.

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