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Throwing the Rules Out the Window

Why she changed the Christmas lights tradition with environmentally friendly alternatives.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I feel guilty. Hmmmm. I guess I could put that a little more strongly. I AM guilty. I’m not sure how it happened. To be truthful, I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing, but if everyone else did what I did, well…let’s just say I’m glad not everyone does. After all, I’m, a person who is fairly conscious about my environmental footprint. I mean…darnit…I write a blog about it, for Pete’s sake!

But there is something about the Christmas season that seems to say: “Hey! It’s the most special time of the year! Go ahead. Buy it. Use it. Consume it. Loosen up a bit. What can be more special than celebrating Jesus’ birth?”

When I drove home one night and saw how pretty some of the houses and yards were, all lit up, I thought about our own house lights, and compared. We did have some lights up. Following in the tradition of our historic town—we had one white candle in each of the 20 or so windows across the front of our house. Nice, but not truly exciting.

Suddenly, a great idea came. Our house has a large sun porch on the front, with many windows, and above the windows are five arches…three across the front and one on each side. There is something about the curve of those arches that I am very fond of. 

Wouldn’t the arches be lovely outlined in twinkling lights? White…to stay in the historic tradition. Not that many houses have sun porches around here, and none of them have arches outlined in lights. And wouldn’t it be different and unique to put one of our many-colored Tiffany-style lamps in the center of each arch?

Larry, my husband, is a can-do kind of guy, and before I knew it, hundreds of twinkling lights were outlining the arches. I fussed around, moving the Tiffany lamps this way and that to get the best effect. Viola! Our house is all decked out in lights!

I have to admit, when we took a walk last night, and returned home, it gave me great pleasure to see it…the twinkling arches…the soft, gleaming colors of the Tiffany lamps.

So, I joined the unthinking Christmas consumerism that I usually complain about! In remorse, we’ve set up timers to turn the lights off at 10 pm instead of midnight. Maybe I can do some other penance. Save our Christmas wrapping paper and use it next year? Turn the heat down another degree and wear thicker sweaters? Yes, I’ll do these things.

Each time I see those twinkling arches, I thank God for creating a planet that provides the natural resources to light them. And, first of all, I thank God for sending a tiny baby to lie in a poor, unlit manger…to remind us of His love.


Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions!

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