I am the furthest thing from a conspiracy theorist. There has been much time, investigations and dialogue invested throughout the decades on various conspiracy theories – ranging from assassinations, national tragedies, Wall Street breakdown, or even the debacle of Coca Cola changing their flavor and ultimately bringing back Coke Classic. Again….interesting stories and in some cases there may even be some underlying truth, but I (like most people) have just never fallen into the conspiracy mindset.
With that said……following my fifth trip to Home Depot within a 7 hour period, I have officially drunk the Kool-Aid and believe that there is a Christmas Conspiracy.
Last year as I worked feverishly to put the Christmas lights on my home, I grew increasingly frustrated with the number of lights that would not illuminate. Either the entire string of lights would be non-operable or just certain bulbs in the most inopportune location – which would completely unbalance the Spectacular Christmas Display that I was looking to achieve. Needless to say, it ultimately required that I invest in new lights to ensure the proper illumination of my home.
At the end of the holiday season, I delicately removed the lighting display from the home. I carefully packed the lights as if I was tucking a newborn into its cradle. I sealed the containers and cautiously stacked the containers ensuring the maximum acceptable weight per container was not exceeded. Although decorating the home was somewhat I knew that I took the appropriate precautions to prevent a reoccurrence of the lighting functionality issue next year. I was well positioned for a festive and exciting next season.
Well, it’s a new year and what was destined to be an enjoyable holiday season. The air was crisp and with Thanksgiving was behind us, it was time to jump into the Christmas Spirit with illuminating the house in lights. The exterior lights were perfectly stored and labeled. Each container was systematically positioned around the home in preparation of executing the efficient Christmas decorating with strict precision. It was assumed that the level of frustration would be diminished from the previous year as a result of the significant number of lights purchased the previous year.
I must admit as I carefully removed the strings of lights from the weather resistant containers (and neatly stacked the tissue paper which divided and protected each sting of lights), my level of excitement grew. The lights still looked brand new and I knew the house was going to be the envy of the neighborhood.
I strategically began hanging lights on the left side of the house. As I turned the lights on to bask in the beauty that I had created, it was quickly realized that about a third of the lights were not illuminating. How is this possible? When the lights were retired from last year’s holiday season, they were put into hibernation with love and care. Christmas Lights previously lasted over 5 years and these were purchased just a year ago (and non-functional).
Nonetheless, I was forced back on the roof to replace the bulbs of the non-illuminated lights. Two hours and two trips to Home Depot later all lights were illuminated on the left side of the house. Being an educated man…..I learned from my previous mistakes and chose to test all of the other string of lights before hanging them on the home. After another couple hours, all of the lights were properly hung on the house. It was the moment of truth. I turned on the lights with confidence since all lights were fully tested before hanging.
Unfortunately, as the lights were turned on several spots on the house were in the dark. Rather than the expected Christmas Luminary Celebration, the house looked like a pitiful Dalmatian. The initial thought was one of frustration – “who cares….just leave it as it is”. Well…..that thought lasted about 30 seconds before I found my way back to Home Depot to purchase more replacement bulbs.
Each burned out bulb was replaced. However even with new replacement bulbs not all of the strings of lights were illuminating. Fuses were checked as non-holiday adjectives were muttered. The one-year-old strings of lights were beyond resurrection. There was only one solution……back to Home Depot to purchase additional strings of lights.
In the end, the house looked beautiful; I was blessed with spending 14 hours in the fresh crisp air. I did my part to jump-start the economy with dropping a couple hundred dollars for new Christmas lights.
Why is it that Christmas light once lasted 5-10 years and today we are lucky if Christmas lights last more than just one year? Is it the big bad corporations who produce a lower quality product simply to force the consumer to purchase replacement products in a short period of time? Or, is it the fact that the government has over-regulated the Green Energy/Energy Efficient initiatives to such an extent that it is impossible to build products with the same life expectancy of years past? Regardless the reason or the responsible party, it is a conspiracy of stupidity. But, it is a conspiracy that will be successful because, in the end, we all want to participate in promoting the spirit of Christmas – either that or just don’t want to be the only non-illuminating house on the block and become the talk of the neighborhood.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.