"Lights please" — Linus Van Pelt

Annually, the family flees the house when I string the outdoor Christmas lights. I battle the elements and wrestle the lights, cursing the increasingly scraggly bushes on which I hang them, all alone. Even our neighbors cross to the other side of the street when they see me out there making my holiday scene.
Long ago I chose the old school large white lights for my display and I have regretted that decision every year since. But, illuminated against the green and especially covered by snow, they do look lovely.
This year I felt like the Christmas gods had smiled on me. I stuck my finger out to gauge the wind and found it silent. No wind? How odd. I trudged outside to begin my annual treasure hunt through the clutter and discovered a weirdly organized garage. A box labeled extension cords actually contained them. My tiny fake trees, which I often find jammed against bent backboards and old bicycles, were, this year, placed exactly where I had left them. I looked on the work bench for an adapter…and found one!
So confident, even smug, did I feel that I began to hum Christmas tunes. And when that first string of lights blew, leaving a dark sooty smudge on my wrist, I soldiered on. In fact, I completed the entire display, giant wreath on the balcony, lights on the bushes, spotlight on the wreath, in record time.
A crisp wind blew in a cold front that night as I walked with my husband. “I sure am glad I got those Christmas lights up,” I said out loud like a fool.
You already know how this story ends, don’t you?
Perhaps you’re my neighbor and you’re reading this thinking our house looks especially dark this year.
Just 10 hours after I proudly lit our annual Christmas display, it blew out the outdoor light fixture into which it was plugged and the entire display went dark.
Our electrician shook her head as she removed the offended fixture. “Christmas lights,” she said, a little disdainfully if you ask me.
The message here, though, is one of yuletide optimism. Because when our electrician returns to connect our new fixture, I intend to re-light my Christmas display.
I hope December finds you equally sanguine. I hope this time of year inspires peace. And I really hope my Christmas lights don’t blow out my new light fixture. Fingers crossed.

At least the lights inside the house still work…for now.
A couple of cast-offs from last year.
They snapped in the ice.
I’m including this picture of last year’s cards
not just because the wooden light decorations
are taunting me, but also because you have
until December 9 to get your card to a soldier.
Just mail it to this address (no glitter):

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

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