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Monday, December 14, 2015

Lights that sparkle, lights that glitter - lights that distract

I love Christmas and I relish the build up to it, but sometimes when I am driving home and the lights make me smile at every turn and each junction, I think, is this too much? Have some people's Christmas lights gotten out of hand?

Now, I know that this might sound a bit scroogey, but it's not, because as I said, I do love Christmas.

This year, I have the shortest drive home to my home place, as it's only an hour away, but in previous years in other jobs, I sometimes had to drive for more than three hours to get home.

In those three hours, I would pass through more than ten cities, towns and/or village, but would only encounter five places where Christmas lights and trees were erected and shining bright.

From this point of view, seeing the houses all alight and glowing with festive cheer was great, but in other ways, it was quite distracting and borderline dangerous.

The festive, 'I Love Christmas' part of my brain was beaming out a stupid silly grin, while the practical side of my brain was asking how much the lights must cost, whether or not the power shorts because of surges and realistically, how necessary it all is.

I like a tastefully decorated house just as much as anyone else, but it is the gaudy, showy, 'too much and too bright' lights that I am objecting to.

A house with a few strings of lights in white or yellow with a few lit up reindeer, santa's, trees or winter animals in the garden or driveway, is really quite lovely and because there isn't too much going on, you can drive by, fleetingly glance at it and smile to yourself, while you hum a Christmas song and go on your merry way.

On the opposite end of the scale, if you compare this to a house with lights everywhere (and I mean everywhere) with lights the colours of the rainbow and no discernable pattern or logic to the way they are strung and suddenly, you've got people slowing down or stopping to look at them (but, what if  house is on a corner or it's on a really busy road, then this gawking could lead to an accident) and because there is no pattern or shape to it, as I said, people are driving slower and looking at it for longer to try to make sense of it.

Now, I am prepared for the backlash from this post, as I know that a lot of people love Christmas and maybe some readers are themselves the culprits for these gaudy and tackily decorated homes, but I think I am just saying what a lot of people are thinking.

Another aspect of this is the cost, as many families will say that they are struggling and that Christmas, is, financially, the hardest time of the year. While they might not have money for that fancy new bike for their child or to buy the perfect coat that will set off every outfit, but somehow they can justify spending hundreds on electricity bills.

Then the question I am led towards is why? Is it to make children smile? Is it to bring a bit of festive cheer to the commuters passing the door or is it a display of oneupmanship? If it is the latter, I really can't defend these people, as that is taking petty to a whole new level.

So now, have your say. Am I right? Is there any merit to my argument or am I simply being Scrooge?

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