THE Great Debate

Credit: David Wagner

Credit: David Wagner

Yeah, this might turn into a North vs. South thing.

When I drove home from a Girl Scout Meeting the other night I noticed how dark the neighborhood is. Just a few weeks ago it was sparkling with white twinkling strands and twists of colored bulbs wrapped around garages, eves, trees and shrubs.

I love the lights. They brighten up the dark nights of winter and pilot the way for all the Christmas magic. If you live in an area without streetlights they can actually provide useful night time directions also, “Turn at the house with all the white lights, go past the house that is twinkling and ours is the one on the left decked in green.”

Every year at our house, we have a great debate about the appropriate time to dismantle the outside lights. I feel like they should be up until the end of January. My husband likes to take them down on the first warm sunny day of the New Year.

I’m a northern girl married to a southern gent. On things important to a marriage we agree (hot salsa, cold beer, Denver Broncos, Thai food). But there is this thing with the lights that we can’t seem to compromise on.

Alaska, Oregon, Montana – those are my states – are dark and icy at night. The lights glisten and cheer up frozen winter moods. Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana – those are his states – I guess when Christmas is over, the lights just come down. He can’t really explain his rational very well to me (or I don’t listen). He just says, “Christmas is over. It is time.”

So, dig into this one please. Your assistance could possible save a marriage from the tangle of a Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation ball of Christmas lights.

Please share your rational, your state and your date.

11 thoughts on “THE Great Debate

  1. At our house it’s the person who actually does the work of taking them down who gets to decide. I don’t want anything to do with that project, so I gave up my vote long ago. 🙂 -Amy


  2. Greetings from the Great White North, Canada eh? Have to say I agree with your husband on this one. Lights on around December 1st, lights off the 1st or 2nd week of January:-)


      • Because we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, most wait until early December to put up lights. Some keeners start in November but I would say the majority in December. As far as taking them down, I think the majority leave them on for the 1st couple of weeks in January & then shut them off. Perhaps hydro costs influence this. There are those that just can’t seem to let go of the Christmas spirit & lights can be found on into the summer. I think that is defined as “I couldn’t be bothered to take them down” LOL


  3. I would love to side with you Holly, especially since I’m from MT; but I’ve got to side with your hubby on this. After New Years, I rid my house of all evidence of Christmas – if I wait that long. That being said, I do love the extra lights at night.


  4. Our lights are still on the house because we haven’t been able to take them down and it has created a bit of conflict. I hate them on after about he first week of Jan, my husband would have them on every night if he could. When he turns them on, me or my son sneak out and turn them back off.


  5. I live in NC, but I don’t think it’s a geographical debate. I take my lights down as soon as I can after Christmas Day, but some people around here celebrate the 12 days of Christmas so their lights are left up longer. Some leave theirs up until the end of January. And I have one neighbor who leaves theirs up ALL YEAR!


  6. I like how Fort Collins does it. The white “seasonal” lights in Old Town are up from Halloween to Valentine’s Day, effectively lightening and brightening (and magicalizing!) during the darkest part of the year, but not celebrating any one particular holiday.


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