Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tinsel life with outdoor decorations

I blame my father and the over-sized lights he hung on the house and fence and the blown plastic candle on the front step.  His love of all things technical rubbed off and it shows up in my yard every November.

If there is one holiday I look forward to it is Christmas.  I know many a theatre person who likes Halloween because they get to break out the more wild make-up and costumes and act the part, but for me being more technician than actor, I love Christmas for it lights and decorations.  Over the years I have built up my decorations for outdoors.  I've changed and added and converted from incandescent to LED.  Each year we tried to add something else.

For years our front yard had Santa and flying reindeer which was given to my son for his first home.  It finally fell apart, its plastic parts becoming brittle, a couple of years later. Santa was replaced by a full Nativity complete with a stable and manger I'd built and stored under the back porch for several years.  For some reason, I came to really dislike setting up this display.  I had added some trees to go with it and I would spend at least an hour every year chasing down burnt out lights and every figure had to be staked out and it took a tremendous amount of space to store.  When we found out that our church didn't have a Nativity for outdoor, we donated it.

The Nativity was replaced by an animated display of Santa on a teeter-totter with reindeer.  It is one of the more fun decorations we have.  I still though have a couple of blown plastic decorations of toy soldiers.

This year's center piece is one I am anxious for the folks to see.  Last year, I purchased a laser show.  This projector runs animated projections set to music.  The show lasts about 25 minutes.  Unfortunately, after a few nights of running, the laser went down, and so we went about a week without it.  Parts have arrived and the laser is once again running its animated show on my garage door.  If you came by to see the lights and didn't see it, please come back.  We think it is really cool.

My obsession has caused me to add outdoor outlets and an extra circuit or two.  The conversion to LED was not cheap either, but the money saved on the electric bill has covered the cost and now with the LED becoming more cost effective, I think with only a couple of exceptions, my lights are about as green as I can get without giving up lighting the yard. By the way, the inside is just as good.

My greatest fear is becoming the Griswold house.  I may actually already be that house, but for me the tinsel of Christmas, glows in the dark.

Merry Christmas!