Vaguely holiday-related rambling

Crappy toys flying off the shelves
Midgets dressed up to look like elves
Spread good cheer or burn in hell
It’s a merry fucking Christmas.
~Denis Leary, “Merry Fucking Christmas”

I don’t do holiday decor. It’s not that I don’t like holiday decor. Really. I just don’t do it. I have, in the past, decorated for Halloween and Christmas. But it takes a few things that I don’t have…space, time, money, and effort.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have all of one closet. Between my clothes, camping supplies, the cat crate, the “take to Goodwill” box, and a few errant items, I don’t have enough room to store seasonal decor. Not to mention I lack the money necessary to buy decorations, and I have other more pressing concerns (making truffles, for example) taking up my time and energy. I could do a strand of lights, maybe, but nothing substantial.

Speaking of lights…don’t fall for the LED Christmas lights garbage. If your lights still work, use them. Don’t buy new ones just because they’re “energy efficient.” Use them until they don’t work anymore, then fucking replace them.

On the “greenness” (or lack thereof) of Christmas lights…no, they’re not green. That doesn’t mean that I think people shouldn’t put them up. Christmas would be dull without Christmas lights. As warm as it often is in Texas during December, it’s nice to have something to remind me that it’s that time of year.

However.

Think of Christmas lights like tattoos…only good if they’re classic and simple. If your house looks anything like these, then you should reconsider. Although then, I suppose, I would miss out on making fun of your house as I drive by.

This is one of those things where I do believe that the environmental issues can be set aside. You can make Christmas lights greener, but they’ll never be as green as they would be if they weren’t produced at all. But in the end, are we going to be complete and utter assholes about it? “Oh, don’t put up Christmas lights, that’s not greeeeeeen.” Well, frankly neither is my computer, my car, my cats, all of my furniture and most of my clothes. Yet you don’t see me donning a fucking loincloth and playing Dances With Wolves out in the fucking woods, even though that would be greener than the way I live now. A balance between comfort, happiness, and environmentalism is important.

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3 Responses to “Vaguely holiday-related rambling”

  1. Re: LEDs.

    As a survival junkie/welfare survivor, one thing I really, really love, to the point of fetishism, is a good and (VERY IMPORTANTLY) long-lasting flashlight.

    LEDs are fucking awesome in that regard.
    Case in point – I picked up two bargain bin combination laser-pointer/adjustable-necked LED spotlights last month. They’re each smaller than a tube of lipstick. The single LED is surprisingly bright, and the whole shebang runs off three tiny button batteries.

    On Dec. 18th, I accidentally crushed the thing in my pocket in a terrible car door mishap. Suddenly the LED light was stuck in the ON position. I stuck the magnetic base of the thing to my cubicle wall, and decided to see how long it would take to burn out.

    As of Thursday, Dec 24th, the damn thing was still putting out light. To my knowledge, it is still shining as I type this. Try that shit with an incandescent bulb.

    I have a 7-LED flash in my car, purchased in 2005, that runs off three AAA batteries. I check it every month, because I’m anal about this kind of thing, and I have yet to have to replace the batteries. I also have an LED on my keychain that has served me well since I purchased it in 2006 (works delightfully as a bore light when I’m cleaning or inspecting guns). No battery changes, even though I’ve accidentally left it on in my pocket for hours at a time.

    Good lighting is important because I grew up poor in the mountains. Sometimes the electricity got turned off. Every winter, snow accumulation on the lines caused blackouts – some of them lasting days. I don’t live in those conditions anymore, but I can tell you this:

    We’ve suffered two nighttime power blackouts in the 14 years since I moved to DFW. Both times, I was without light to see by for all of SECONDS. We have candles, we have flashlights. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that you will not be left in the dark when you do not wish to be. LEDs go along way toward making damned sure of it.

    • I definitely agree. In cases when lighting is going to be a necessity (flashlights, emergency lighting, household lighting), CFLs and LEDs are the way to go. I should have clarified that I was speaking specifically of LED Christmas lights which, while environmentally friendlier, are not so environmentally friendly that they necessitate trashing existing Christmas lights to buy.

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