Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lighting up the Christmas Spirit by Amy Vastine

Every holiday season, my children beg my husband to put up Christmas lights. Sometimes they can convince their dear old dad to hang something along the gutters. No one was impressed with the simple strand running across the top of the garages, though. One year, I managed to wrap some fancy lights around the deck only to find that the outlet out back was busted, thus no lights. Last year, the only lights we had were the one strand that I wrapped around a bush in the front by the porch. Not very exciting. Boring some might say. Totally LAME according to our children.

What would my kids like to see? They want the glamour, the glitz. They want us to have an astronomical electric bill for the month of December. They want something that puts Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to shame.

My kids want what these people have ...









What kind of Christmas lights do you put up? Anyone have a musical light show in their neighborhood? Who's like me and has the inside of the house decked out but the outside looks a little lacking in spirit?

One lucky commenter will win a copy of my September release THE BETTER MAN. That is hopefully NOT lame :)


39 comments:

  1. I always wanted to decorate the outside. I dreamed of having the coolest lights in the neighborhood...except I have never really lived in a neighborhood. It always seemed kind of silly to spend that much money, time and effort to decorate for the cows and coyotes. Sigh...oh well. The one time we did live in town for a short span I did get about 3 strands of lights put up. Nothing fancy but I was so excited. :)

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    1. I bet the cows and coyotes would love it, LeAnne! It does make it hard to get motivated when no one will see the fruits of your labor.

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    2. One thing I have to say about this, LeAnne--I used to drive 28 miles through the country to work at 4:30 in the morning. During the holiday season, I LOVED those lights, so there are a few besides cows & coyotes to enjoy them. :-)

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    3. Thanks to random.org, LeAnne has won a copy of THE BETTER MAN! Email me at vastine7@gmail.com with your information so I can get that out to you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. We used to decorate the outside, but one year when my husband was putting the figurines and lights away yet again, he said, "I don't want to do this anymore" and passed the stuff down to our daughter and son-in-law. They now have a very decorative house and yard and we have...a wreath. :-) Nice post, Amy.

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    1. I think that's my husband's biggest issue - all that work just to have to take it all down a few weeks later. He can't stand it!

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  3. I'm in complete awe of people who can orchestrate lights like that. I loved watching the videos! Amazing.

    And trust me folks, Amy's books are NEVER lame! You'll love The Better Man!

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    1. Oh you are so sweet Rula! I am also amazed that people can get all that timed with the music. I can't figure out how they do it. I also can't imagine how much it costs to keep all that running!

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  4. Christmas lights are fun when you have kids at home. They love the excitement and awe. No kids at home...not so much fun. So now we enjoy other houses decorated for the season.

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    1. I totally get it! I do still love to drive around at night to see what people have put up. It's fun to look at, not so much fun to put up!

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  5. We used to always decorate outside with multi colored lights, the lighted deer, lighted packages, and Santa in a Sleigh on top of the house. I don't do any of that now. My kids sold them all in a garage sale when I downsized to the town house. I now put big red bows and bells across my courtyard fence and a Happy Holly Days plaque on the gate. Last year I had a wreath that lit with batteries. Didn't get that up this year. So maybe I'm Bah Humbug for 2014.

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    1. Oh Roz! No bah humbug - get that wreath out, woman! Love that you guys used to do it up. I can imagine it would be hard to keep it up when it's just you. You make me think of this commercial I saw the other day where the family decorates a house and when they finish, they all go home, but to the house next door! They had hung lights for their neighbor. So sweet. You need a neighbor like that!

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  6. Had to laugh. Mr. Curtis won't put up lights now that the kids are away in college. In fact, he has yet to get down our tree from the attic. I should call him Mr. Scrooge! And to think, he used to get in light competitions with our neighbors! He'd bring home all kinds of moving things for the front lawn.

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    1. Whoa - he needs to get on tree duty STAT! Time is running out!!

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  7. We live in an old, old neighborhood with power grids to match - no one does much of anything because we blow out the whole neighborhood. One of our neighbors has those mesh lights that fit over a bush. small, but looks pretty. I have a lighted wreath on the front porch (*I have to change the batteries every week!) and a Merry Christmas sign with lights that flash on an off. That's it. But there's much spirit inside - I sort of light up!

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    1. That's still very sweet, Muriel! A little or a lot, it's all about the spirit we carry within that counts!!

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  8. I discovered light blankets a few years ago. All I have to do it lay them over the shrubs and plug them in. They are LED lights which use so little power the bill is not increased.

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    1. I'm loving this option, Shirley. I'm going to look for those!

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  9. My husband had the lights up Dec 1. We've the icicle kind. Then, on our eaves, we have bells that play music.

    I'm in charge of the tree. Mike has mentioned putting it up five times. It's still in the shed. I'm thinking to day is the day. I've 20 spare minutes between 3:00 and 3:20. Plus, Mike told me that Elf on the Shelf will tell Santa on me if I don't get the tree up soon.

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    1. Pam - if you can get your tree up in 20 minutes, you are Superwoman!! There are never enough hours in the day this time of year. I did get my tree up but the rest of the decorations are still a work in progress!

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  10. I loved The Better Man!! I struggled with the lights this year. First, I had to cut a strand of lights off of our pre-lit tree (lovely) because I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't work or which bulb was out. The outside lights didn't work out much better. I didn't check them first (as my husband informed me after the fact that I should have--thanks for the help, dear), and after I got the longest strand wrapped meticulously around the columns on our front porch, I discovered they don't work. So I have a pretty swag that lights up connected to a colorful (non-working) strand around the center posts connected to another swag that lights up. What a headache. I gave up.

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    1. Oh, Christy! I feel your pain. I hate it when I go through all the motions and then the lights don't work. And don't get me started on my pre-lit tree that is never supposed to burn out. First year the whole bottom went out. Pain in my butt!! So glad you enjoyed The Better Man <3 xoxox

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  11. Well the inside is decorated. I'm pretty sure there is still a pumpkin on my porch. Don't ask how he's not rotted away. I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. Uh and I may still have a fall wreath on my door. Oh goodness I've become a mishmash of holidays like Walmart around Halloween. How sad. LMFAO Well at least inside this house it's December and Christmas-y. *looks around at like 5 decorations* lol A little bit. ;)

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    1. You crack me up, Ry! You need to get that fall stuff DOWN! Christmas will be here before we know it!

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  12. At the retirement where I live, two of the men in residence stung lights all around the car ports and it is lovely. Besides that, we have a lovely "Charlie Brown" tree where everyone hung decorations. Hopefully it will live to see another Christmas.

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    1. Charlie Brown tree sounds like so much fun, Marion! And the lights in the carport sound very cool.

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  13. I have to admit I hate to put up lights. I even detest putting lights on the Christmas tree so last year I splurged and bought--gasp---a PRELIT artificial tree! My husband grumbled a bit, but the kids weren't coming home for Christmas, so what the heck! I treated myself to a holiday margarita and felt quite smug. :)

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    1. Pre lit trees are a time saver (when they work). I also switched from one where I had to put in each branch to a three-part tree which made putting the tree up SOOOOOO much easier this year. No margarita for me - but good thinking :)

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  14. Sorry I'm so late in getting around, but now that our move to NC is complete, life's in more of a routine. Ahhh, Christmas lights! I'm with you on the electric bill! This is the first year we've had anything outside -- a reindeer on the grass near the front steps with a dog on the steps watching it. Their greatly reduced price at Lowe's snagged me. Now I'm wondering where I'm gonna store them. Hmmmm.

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    1. That sounds great, Kittie! My kids desperately want us to get some big, lit-up decoration for the front lawn. Reduced price at Lowe's you say...

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  15. A couple of years ago, I gave away our aged artificial tree and got a pre-lit Martha Stewart one. This year the warranty ran out, and so did half of the top section of lights. Then we pulled out our single strand of multi-colored outdoor lights that we jokingly refer to as "The Penk Family Extravaganza," and it doesn't work anymore either. So after several trips to the store, we have everything lit. But our neighbor has a home-made martini glass on his chimney- how do you compete with that?!

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    1. I feel your pain with the pre-lit tree. Our also lasted one year and then the whole bottom went out. I LOVE the martini glass on the chimney - sounds like your neighborhood is a fun one :)

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  16. I thought I commented but I see I haven't. My outside lights are the same way. I do have a Christmas table cloth and a prelit tree, but that's about it. With no children around and no time to have friends over, it's just not the same.

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    1. You've got some Christmas spirit going there, Patricia!

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  17. LOL! I love lights and I used to be able to get Dave to hang them until he almost fell off the ladder one year. Nothing but ground lights since then and not much. I feel for ya! Love the videos and love you Amy! XOXO Jo

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    1. Whoa - Super Dave needs to be a little more careful! A little lights is all you need sometimes. I decorating inside more than out anyways. Thanks for stopping by - ILY too!! xoxo

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  18. Thanks to random.org, LeAnne has won a copy of THE BETTER MAN! Email me at vastine7@gmail.com with your information so I can get that out to you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. It's a great read, LeAnne! Enjoy!

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