A cacophany of color dripping from house to house, flowing over roofs, front yards, covering bushes and wrapped about tree trunks, I cannot avoid the Christmas lights. How did they get all those lights up there? How long does it take to perform the feat? Do you know there are professionals who can come to your house and install all the lights you want... for a price?
Of course the lights are not alone. Angels, stars, reindeer and Santa proliferate, and oddly shaped lawn sculptures I cannot identify. A sordid carnival of grotesque artifacts soon to be forgotten in someone's garage for the next year. I cannot appreciate the simple beauty of what once was. Am I too blind to see? I avert my eyes.
I count in my head the possiblity of how many watts are in each bulb, how many kilowatts in each string, how many strings of lights are used to blanket a house, a yard, a neighborhood, a city, a country. A house at 1953 Eucalyptus street in San Carlos, California has a December bill of $5,000 according to the news. For 5,000 dollars one can buy a lot of LED lights! All the houses on the street, it seems, participate to have the show of decorations. It's such a popular neighborhood that it is closed off to traffic and you must walk to see it.
How much is it all costing? I don't mean just in our electric bills, but how much fossil fuel does it take to maintain Christmas? Am I Scrooge counting money, overlooking the value in the significance for the overabundance of Christmas lights?