Energetic holiday displays

I write this from an exotic locale, a big city which I won’t name except to tell you it starts with New and ends with York and has a whole lotta bagels in between.

We’re staying in a neighborhood in Brooklyn where folks seem to really get into the Christmas decorating. I’m sorry that I have no pictures, but I’ll try to describe what we’ve seen on our evening walks. The light displays come in three sizes. Small means a couple of lit-up reindeer in the yard, lights on the bushes and the railings. Medium means all of the above, plus rows of blinking snowmen, lights outlining eaves and porch columns, and (in one case) some sort of electronic device that plays off-key carols to passersby.

Large means all of the above plus lights wrapped around every branch and twig of every tree on the property, with only an inch or so between strings. The effect is sort of like seeing the Emerald City from the middle of a poppy field: You’re compelled to move closer, but it’s hard because you feel kind of stoned.

It would take some real planning—and a 30-foot ladder—to put this many lights up. I admire the effort. Personally, I’ve never spent more than a few minutes decorating outdoors for Christmas, but I do enjoy the spectacle. One thing I’m glad to report: Those zillions of lights on the trees seem to be LEDs, which means they’re a little more efficient. 

I’m curious—how much extra energy do folks devote to holiday lumens? Anybody switched their Christmas lights to LEDs to cut down on the December power bill? (And does your house look just as merry?)

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