The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
The Courier is Celebrating the Christmas Holidays!
 
Columns
Go Back
2015-01-15

Lights out

Mikie Baker

Customs are different in the country. Where I grew up in the Big City, you planted seasonal color. The same flora in the country is considered dinner for deer. I understand how customs can be a bit diverse, but can someone please explain to me why you people leave your Christmas lights up until spring?
As I said, we had rules in the city. Maybe it's because the houses are so close together and it's almost effortless for your neighbors to shoot you the "your-yard-doesn't-look-as-good-as-mine" look. Or maybe it's because our electric bills are higher. Whatever the reason, city folk have stowed away those twinkling seasonal lights by now - but not in this neck of the woods.
Nope, Christmas lights are still ablaze in all their holiday splendor. When are you people going to move on? Isn't January all about suffering through diets, doldrums and no drinking?
Being from Boston, Dearly Demented Mom was always very proper. She came from the "no-white-shoes-after-Labor Day" set. Now I understand why. Up north, you wear boots in September. In Texas, we're still stylin' our blinging flip flops.
She taught to put the Christmas lights up the day after Thanksgiving and then take them down the first day it was warm enough after New Year's. I never wondered why; that was what I was taught. I just thought it was the norm. Hmm, that may be the only normal thing about me.
So this morning I hit my Goggle app and asked the age old question, "When do you take down the Christmas lights?" I found an amazing variety of answers. Interestingly enough, not one of them had anything to do with white shoes. If you're one of those who keeps your Christmas lights up until spring, here's a variety of justifications to make you right.
The 12 Days of Christmas - Evidently, there's a reason why somebody wrote that song. There really are the 12 days of Christmas and it comes from the Bible. Those 12 days start on Christmas day and when they end, that's when you're supposed to take down your lights. By day 12 at my house, the tree would be so crispy I'd be risking a three-alarmer.
Ground Hog Day - Oddly, Feb. 2 is the day the Pope takes his Christmas lights down. The Catholic holiday is something like Chistmaslas, so that's the day the Pope gets out his ladder. I'm still trying to wrap my head around blinking icicle lights on the Vatican.
Mardi Gras - Must be the Party Animals. They simply take down the red lights and add purple and gold ones to the green. And then they give up the whole decorating thing for lent.
Never - There is that group - you trailer park types know who I'm talking about - who simply refuse to take down the lights at all. They want the trailer to twinkle all year long. It's probably best that way.
So even though I abide by rules I made up somewhere along the way, I guess there are many ways of looking at the holiday season. Some may just want to get through it, but others don't want it to end. Their answer is to light up the streets until the fuses burn out. I think I've changed my mind about the lights. Shine on people, shine on.