There is a little Clark Griswold in all of us. I think we all, deep down, want to set our homes ablaze in lights each Christmas for the pure enjoyment of bringing a little light magic to our family.
There are those real Griswold-like fanatics out there who do this, you know. Every town, city and village has those few homes who really deck the halls.
It is a great American past time during Christmas to drive around looking at lights. Most of the time you find great efforts worthy of applause. Then you drive up to something really spectacular, featuring message boards urging you to tune your radio to a certain station to see the lights synchronized to music.
ABC will highlight 20 such Christmas-light crazies later this Christmas season by airing a new “reality” series called The Great American Light Fight, a competition to see which of the 20 families will take home a prize of $250,000. I’m not much for reality TV but this appears to be as good an idea as any.
We see these types of people on the news every year. They spend months working on their displays and putting them up. Then they get on the news when the neighbors complain about all the traffic coming by to look at the lights.
For as much as I admire these people and share in their festive spirits I can never be one of them. I am a Christmas lights loser.
God simply did not bless me with the slightest bit of talent when it comes to outdoor illumination.
No, its worse than that.
I always had to pay someone to put my kids’ Christmas bikes together. I’ve never changed the oil in my own car, no, not once. I cannot even make cereal without looking up the recipe.
When it snows outside I won’t shovel. My back instantly goes out and if the city comes by to give me a ticket for shoveling the walk, I’ll gladly pay the fine.
I’m just not the type of guy who does a thing to the house or yard. Or car. Or fences. Or trees. My inside skills are likewise lacking. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you.
For my kids that made our house the sorriest looking one on the street every Christmas.
I remember when rope lights first came out. We enthusiastically purchased a couple of miles of rope lights with the intention of covering every straight line on our house with it and calling them Christmas lights.
We started right after Halloween and for two absolutely miserable weekends in November I missed a lot of college football to brave 20 minutes of two Saturdays sticking these stupid things on the house.
We got the rain gutters covered but gave up on the roof line. That would require actually getting on the roof, an act my wife was certain would lead to a trip to the emergency room. Who was I to argue with her and, after all, if I didn’t value my health, who would?
Our house looked like a runway.
Anyone bringing our kids home at night would have to drop them off at the end of the block because the kids were too embarrassed to say which house was theirs.
We do better with our Christmas tree.
It came pre-lit, after all, and we always add a few lights to it each year to give it a little more oomph.
My kids are kind enough to always give me credit for that but if half of one of those strands go down during the season they know I won’t have the heart to un-decorate the tree and trouble shoot the matter.
I’ll just turn the tree around so the dark side doesn’t show on the street.
The kids say that gives Santa the perfect spot to put their gifts of new socks and underwear every Christmas.
If they put me on the Great American Light Fight I’d show up with a lawn chair and a sparkler.
Now that’s reality.
This article was submitted by a real person who wisely chooses to remain anonymous.