Now On To Really Important Topics: When Should Christmas Lights Come Down? November 28, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
Our house is one of “those” houses. The one with the Christmas lights up until February 2nd. Because that’s when the season ends, people! We also don’t put them out on Thanksgiving, but generally just a few days before Christmas itself. It varies, depending on the amount of time we have, because we put up quite a bit, usually, though the kids have thankfully taken over much of the task in recent years. We certainly don’t put them up the day after Thanksgiving and rip ’em down the day after Christmas, or even New Years.
Apparently this topic was worthy of a news story, and, interestingly, not only do most people believe Christmas lights should come down very quickly, a growing number of municipalities are instituting laws to that effect:
When we see the first twinkle of the lights in early December, it is amazing, even magical. But eighteen days after the holiday? So, when is the right time to take down Christmas decorations?…….
………“Today while I shoveled, somebody honked at me, I waved. He slowed down and said ‘Christmas is over’ and with an expletive,” he said.
It’s not like with political campaign signs. It’s Minnesota law those have to be down 10 days after the election. But in San Diego, California, you can get a $250 fine if your lights are still up after Feb. 2. [Well at least it’s till the 2nd. But a fine? C’mon.]
The Urban Dictionary even has a term for these people: Nerkles. It’s a combination of nerd and sparkle.
In Minneapolis, Brad Sutton admitted his giant wreath probably should be unplugged.
“I’ll be honest, we’re past that point. A week past the New Years, that’s enough,” said Sutton, as he sheepishly walked to the second story of his house and pulled the power cord.
Lisa Scherber said the end of January is her drop-dead point for leaving the lights on.
“It starts to look a little pathetic when the snow is melting, so we do turn them off,” she said.
Todd Zimmerman proposed a staggered system of light deadlines: “Christmas Lights stay on until the day after Christmas then they are off period. I actually don’t take down the outside Christmas lights until is is warm enough (like March, April, June, whatever) and the snow is off the roof. Inside Christmas lights and decorations come day New Years Day.”
But as Nancy Aleshire wrote on my blog, “Keeping lights up is a matter of personal preference. There are no laws against it. If people don’t like it they should get a life.”
This is a small thing, in the grand scheme, but indicative of a culture that has completely lost the meaning and spirit of Christmas. Christmas isn’t a day, a build up to a much longed for greed fest that ends
the day hours after the presents start getting unwrapped, it’s a season that STARTS on the 25th, extends through a glorious Octave, and continues on until Candlemas on February 2nd. We see the continuing commercialization and diminution of all the great holidays, both secular and religious. I was disgusted to see “Black Friday” commercials advertising stores opening at 6pm, 3pm, even noon on Thanksgiving day. And we’ll be inundated with “after Christmas sales” and all the rest – starting almost certainly on the holy day itself. I remember when the whole world was pretty much shut down on Christmas day. It was a big thing when a few convenience stores started staying open on Christmas in the mid-80s. Now it’s just another freaking day to shop. The religious nature of the holiday has been almost completely turned upside down, with the commercialization subsuming the sacred character of the season, as it has virtually everything else. ‘
But it’s happened, because people have wanted it to happen. If stores and businesses received a very cold shoulder, and, more importantly, absolutely no customers, then they wouldn’t be opening on these holy days. They do it because people want it, they want to exchange their not quite perfect gift for a more perfect one, which will be old and forgotten hours – days at best – after being bought.
I have tried in the past few years to be off work the entire 12 days of Christmas, from the 25th to the 6th. That probably won’t work this year because of my new job but I hope to return to the practice next year (inability to transfer vacation from one year to the next can be frustrating). Something else my wife and I try to do is to only allow the kids to open some presents on Christmas day and keep some for following days, allowing them to open one each day for a while. We usually haven’t enough for the full twelve days, and to be honest our attempts at spreading the joy haven’t always completely worked out. We’ll try again this year, and as the kids get older, it tends to get a bit easier.
But the lights are staying up until the 2nd, period. I really miss it when they come down. It’s very sad and contributes – as it should – to the sense of termination of a festive season and the start (nominally) of Septuagint, which often follows closely on Candlemas when it does not preempt it.