November 22, 2009

Fairy Light Rationalization

We spent yesterday redoing the LED Christmas lights on the shrubs across the front of the house. Now, very best parts of Christmas are:

a. Lucy Darling
b. White fairy lights outside
c. A tree with white fairy lights inside

And the worst aspect of Christmas is spending a cold day laying out extension cords to figure how to connect as many trees as possible to two different outlets on the property, with each set of lights on each tree meeting, and ending up with the right end of each extension cord reaching its final destination. This is complicated by the fact that some of our extension cords have three outlets and some have only one. Ah, the possible combinations and permutations! And having raw pain in gloveless hands - as circumstances never lead to the job being done on a balmy day. (This year, for example, I had to wait for the landscape company to finish work on the walkway.) So the decision to do the job twice in one week was reached after sober consideration.

We switched to LED a couple of years ago when I realized with horror while browsing the Internet that I ran the risk of burning the house down if I kept adding regular incandescent lights to our display each year. Just how does Chevy Chase manage to do it in that Christmas movie?? LED's use so little electricity, generate so little heat, and are so much better for the environment. But in terms of magic, they suck. Switching over was done with great reluctance - a personal sacrifice to help save the planet and a manoeuvre to make sure our safety wasn't compromised.

I lucked into an exceptionally warm day on Thursday and the chore was made so much easier this year because I had bundled the lights and extension cords last time with notes as to what cord connected to what set of lights so much of the planning and layout was already done.

But a trip to Canadian Tire on Friday to get just two extra small sets of lights led to the discovery of SUPER BRIGHT LED white fairy lights! Advanced technology was saving Christmas! Hallelujah! Now, LED lights are fearsomely expensive. To buy a significant quantity requires a sophisticated degree of rationalization and, here, we are champs! This is a dilemna we could sort out faster than that ol' exension cord business.

1. LED lights are much paler than the old style. It takes so many more to have the same impact.

2. The lights are so much softer that one lady commented in an article on the Internet that she feared this next generation of children would grow up associating Christmas with the fluorescent style lights hanging over the chair in a dentist's office. Therefore, adding brighter LED lights to the display is really a way of preserving the magic of Christmas for our children's children.

3. It was food drive day in the subdivision so we would give the little guy coming up the driveway a donation to the food bank equal to a large set of fairy lights so we felt we were feeding more than just souls that day.

4. We will give an equal amount to Isa's little girl in a far flung corner of the world who needs schooling and encouragement and a chance at a better life.

5. We would mix the old, softer LED white with the new SUPER BRIGHT. We would do even more shrubs, putting SUPER BRIGHT on the taller, back shrubs (the yews and threadleaf cyparus), and the older, soft white lights on the front shrubs (the nesting spruce, mugo pine, and boxwood). It's not as though we would be tossing LED lights into the landfill.

6. We are getting old. How many more Christmas holidays will we have? And, more importantly, who will spend an entire day setting up the lights when we are unable to do it?? No one we know at the present time! Better enjoy them while we can.

7.We spent so much money on the new walkway. It just doesn't make sense not to enhance it in every way possible.

8. The fairy light display increases our property value. Who knows when a potential buyer might stumble upon the place after dark, (hmmm...memo to self: maybe more lights??), fall in love, and offer scads of money for our corner of the woodland!

After dark, we plugged in both outlets (timers not set up yet) and, lo, the magic of Christmas was preserved - at least in our dark little corner of the world next to Crown forest.

1 comment:

movita's sister said...

And yet she claims she cannot write a novel.