Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Colored Lights - To or Not Be

 When my DH and I put up our first Christmas tree we realized there was a problem - an issue serious enough to require mediation. We had a fundamental disagreement on what kind of lights were going on the tree. A little history here - my DH's family always had colored lights and to him that was traditional, no other option. When I was little, we also had the colored lights, the ones the size of your thumb that allowed you to turn the furnace off in your den during the holiday season because the heat from those lights was enough to keep the den at a cozy 73 degrees 24/7. But, as I got older I really liked simple small white lights. Now one thing we did agree on was that they not flicker, twinkle, or "race".

We dickered and bickered over this issue for a week. Finally, we came to peace and decided we would trade off. One year, we would have small white lights and the following year we would have the larger colored lights. That first year we had the colored lights. My DH was very pleased and reminded me throughout the season of childhood memories of colored lights.

"How many Christmas trees do you remember as a child that had white lights?" "Well, none. But that's not the point." "Yes, it is. Christmas is about tradition. And white lights are 'fru-fru' " (his words to describe anything he thought was some new fad).” "Well, I think we should start our own tradition." "And that tradition is going to be a tree with colored lights." I just stopped before it got ugly.

The next year was my year, and I was ready with boxes of white lights. He knew better than to comment. And, so it went, year after year - until our first born was old enough to question this insanity. I told her, as best I could explain to a five year old, that her mature parents never could agree on the color of lights on the Christmas tree, so we had agreed to "play nice" and share.

Over the years, our daughters saw the humor in the situation and picked at their dad unmercifully about the Christmas tree lights. He realized he was outnumbered, and somewhere along the way, the colored lights gave way to white lights. He may have lost the battle, but he is still in the war.

To this day, each year when we pull out the boxes of balls, trimmings, and lights for the tree, he looks me and before he opens his mouth, I say, "I know what you think, it would look better with colored lights." "Well it would." I'm not ready to give on this, but I will admit all my childhood memories are of a big tree with those colored lights. However, my girls' memories will be of a tree with white lights and a Dad still standing his ground for colored ones.

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