Is it time to take down the Christmas lights? Or holiday lights, if you prefer. Let’s have a debate. You there, with your arms folded across your chest, glaring:
“Is this really the most important thing to discuss, what with what’s going on in the world?”
Good point, but you wandered into the wrong room. You want Killjoys Anonymous; they’re meeting across the hall. OK, you there, in the back?
“I swore you wrote about this last year and the year before and the. ... ”
I’m having trouble hearing you, so we’ll have to move on. Yes, the lady in front who’s holding a lit candle.
“Thank you! It’s a luminaria, made of ice. It reminds me of the light that shines in the darkest of hours, just like the lights we put up for the holiday season speak of hope in the time of our most profound darkness. When I come home from work and see the lights still twinkling in the trees, it’s as if we have decided that the lessons, the spirit, the message of the holidays must not be forgotten and should be brought into the new year with fresh determination.”
That’s quite inspirational. And, might I say, a very Minnesotan thing to say.
“Oh, I’m from Scottsdale. I’m just visiting.”
OK. Any opposing views? You sir, in the back, wearing the ski cap with the Vikings logo.
“If the lights were all purple, I’d say keep them on until we’re out of the running, which would mean they’d go off pretty soon after Christmas unless the offensive line can give Kirk Cousins more than a second and a half to get the ball off, you know? He was constantly under pressure, and I don’t care how fast Adam Thielen gets downfield if the pocket collapses after the snap.”
So that’s a yes, then? Unplug the lights?
“Raze the stadium for all I care.”
Shouldn’t we finish paying for it first? But thanks for your input. You there, waving your hands:
“I think it’s good you’re bringing this up because I don’t know if most people even know they still have their lights on. They’re probably all on timers. It’s not as if anyone goes outside when it’s 30 below and plugs in the lights, right? So if you still have them on, it’s like a metaphor for how technology takes over your life. We should ban timers and live more authentic lives not ruled by uncaring machines.”
Or, we could just hook them up to our home automation and set a reminder on our phones to tell Alexa not to activate the light routine.
“That would work, too!”
Anyone else? You in the front:
“Yeah, it’s me who used to be in the back. The fact that you write this column over and over every year with only minor updates to make it seem new — I mean, nice job with the football guy there — it makes me think, you know, that there’s no answer to the question. This year will be just like all the rest: The lights will just go out, house by house, until they’re all off, and no one ever thinks, ‘Oh, the lights are gone now.’ What do you want, some rule that requires us to shame people who keep them on past the 15th of January, like they’re wearing white before Memorial Day?”
Well, that would be a nice side effect. But the real reason I wrote this was so my wife would read it Sunday morning and ask if our lights are still on. And then I’d say, “No, because the timer was off.” And that would remind me to unplug the timer.
Thank you for being pawns in my scheme.