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It takes me about two days to get my Christmas lights outside the house. I put them on the trees and bushes in the front, add a couple of lighted reindeer and I'm done. Festive yet simple; low impact yet merry.
Then there's the guy down the street who has several Christmas inflatables, a million lights, Disney characters, elves, candy canes, displays on the roof, on the porch, on the lawn, the evergreen in the front, the fence, on the parkway, in the windows. I try not to drive by that house at night when the kids or my wife are in the car. "Why don't we do that, dad?" they would say. "Proud of your little light display, honey?" she would say.
"It's not the amount of lights, it's the meaning of the season, and the warm feeling you get knowing that you are joining the cadre of households choosing to honor the holiday by displaying lights against the darkness of the winter nights." I would say
"You're just lazy." she would reply
"I'm trying to conserve energy and reduce our carbon footprint."
"besides, think about the money we're saving so we can get more gifts for the kids!"
"How much are a string of lights, big spender?" she would ask
"Thats not the point," I would reply, "remember the admonition of moderation in all things?"
"well, if you're happy with our holiday decorations, then I'm happy."
I'll be going to the store later. Unless that neighbor's power blows out. That would be too much to hope for.