Christmas Lights

Elizabeth is nearly healed today, thank you, and had been very firm in her opinion that she does not require any more medicine, thank you very much.

Here’s what I want to know today: do you put up Christmas lights on your house? Why or why not? And when you were growing up, were there lights on your house?

When I was growing up, we always had lights. We first had those big colored bulbs (which, if I recall correctly) were stolen off our house one year. Then we switched to white lights of the icicle persuasion.

Now, we always have lights on our house. I think we skipped a year or two at the beginning there, when we lived in apartments and didn’t really have an outside. But now Matt and his little brother (who always comes to visit for Thanksgiving) put them up for me. Our first set went bad this year and I had to buy new ones. We’ve always had the little lights that are colored, but only the red, green, and white bulbs. Those are actually pretty hard to find. But I feel that those are the only colors that go with Christmas.

In our neighborhood, not many people put lights up- maybe only one house out of five. (Which is about the same percentage that participates in Halloween.) I’m wondering if that is the same in your area. I remember a lot more lights from my childhood, particularly in our one town, where every single house would have them and some neighborhoods had these intricate theme decorations.

Here is our house. (And it actually looks a bit better in person.)


Okay, lots better in person.


  1. says

    We did not put up lights, the exception being putting lights on the pine tree out by the mailbox. But we lived in a rural area and not many people decorated either. I think your lights are lovely and not over the top! We live in a shared house at the moment and the other part of our house decorated and it’s a bit over the top for our tastes. I am not a fan of the blow up decorations on lawns, it seems.

  2. says

    We put up white icicle lights along the roof line and multicolored lights on the bushes. All of our neighbors have lights up and most have lit trees in their windows. (Ours isn’t in front of the window because it doesn’t really fit there.) I’d say 75% of our street is lit.

  3. says

    We always put up lights growing up, some years all white, some years multi-colored twinkle lights. My neighborhood growing up was one that often got mentioned in the newspaper as one of the good places to see Christmas lights. Back then, it was basically an unspoken rule- if you lived here you DID put up lights. Fewer people in the neighborhood do it now, but I’d guess still more than half. My parents still put them up every year.

    When we lived in Texas we didn’t put up lights, and neither did most of our neighborhood.

  4. says

    We always do lights. I love lights. My mom thought lights were tacky, so I’m making up for it now. We do mostly white lights with one tree in multi-colored, and a small blow up Santa.

  5. Shannon says

    We put up lights every year. We have just white lights, larger bulbs that run along the roof line. My husband’s too wussy to go up to the upper roof line so it’s just the one level. I also have them on the porch and in my spruce tips. They’re very pretty if I do say so myself and most of the neighborhood has them as well. We make sure that we get them up before it snows, otherwise they wouldn’t get up. (They’re usually up in October some time but we don’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving.) Right now we have about a foot of snow and they all look really pretty.

  6. Angela (@Aferg22) says

    Since we moved into our current house (4 years ago) we have put lights up every year. Prior to this, we traveled every Christmas, so we didn’t do much decorating at all. The first year we did all red lights, but the past 3 have been a combination of red and white. My husband doesn’t do ladders, so we hire someone each year to do it. We also have lighted trees on the front porch. Our neighborhood goes all out with the decorations, and I would estimate that 80-90% of the houses have lights of some kind. Several houses in a row on our street have the trees by the street lit with the same theme (white in the branches, red around the trunks and green on the ground). Our neighbors several houses down from us REALLY like their Christmas decorations, including tons of lights on the house, several blow up decorations and light up deer in the yard. We have nicknamed them the Griswolds, ala Christmas Vacation. :-)

  7. says

    Growing up, we usually had some lights — big bulbs, that’s all there was back then (I’m in my 50s; our youngest “child” graduates from college tomorrow!).

    Most of the time we’ve put up lights. Some years when we’ve both been working and only had weekends available to put lights up, we’ve had to forego it because the weather never cooperated on the weekend. We used to put a multicolored string along the roof edge (house and part of the garage), but have decided that it’s not worth the risk of falling, so now we do ground-level decorating. This year, we’ve put a multi-colored net of lights over the juniper bush by the front door, and constructed an abstrct, triangular tree with a pole and some twine, outlined with green lights, then zig-zagged a long string of white lights back and forth inside the triangular outline. Our house is too small to accommodate a tree (we used to have one when the kids were small, but I can’t fathom where we’d fit one now; I blame my husband’s beer-making hobby and more, larger electronics), so we string lights around the house.

  8. says

    We have Christmas lights up this year mainly so our house doesn’t get robbed when we are in GA. We usually do them because we like the way they look, but honestly we only got it together this year to deter theft. And it’s pretty minimal – I think it took Kevin about 20 minutes, since the nails were already up, to put the icicle lights around the door and some colored lights over the garage. Growing up, our house was bigger and it took my dad an afternoon to deal with the lights. And my mom did light wrapped garlands on the front porch. Looked great, but now all I can think is that it must have been a pain. I’m heavy on the scrooge this year :)

  9. Rachel Nehmelman says

    I always put lights up outside. I love decorating and my girls love to see the house all lit up and enjoy flipping the switch to turn them on when we get home from work and school. I wrap our colored lights around our railing in the front and the back of our house, decks on both sides. We also hang wreaths from our upper garage windows, sometimes we light those but not all the time. This year I want to buy new outside lights because mine keep going out, I really want to get all LED because that is what I bought for our tree and love it. We got the C3 size kinda like the big bulbs from the past but smaller, bigger than the mini lights.

  10. says

    I’m glad Dibits is mended.
    We do lights occasionally on our front porch. I can only remember a couple years that our house had lights when I was growing up. Our street is undecorated this year. I am feeling swayed to do a little more next year because WE enjoy going to look at decorated houses, so I’m feeling we should participate to some degree.

  11. lissa says

    We did not have lights growing up, but I always have had them on the outside of my home. Before this year, we had the c9, multi with white icicles hanging from the gutters – however, one strand went out this year and they don’t make them anymore =/ So I had to switch to the LED’s. I don’t like them because the colors, to me, are too dim – but what can you do? We have multicolored string lights in the dwarf holly bushes and trim each side of the driveway and the shape of the landscaping with c9 ceramic lights. These are put in with those metal lawn stakes.

    We only have 4 other neighbors in our neighborhood of 34 homes that decorate for any holiday =/ I hate that, but the kids love that we have a lit up house =]

  12. says

    My parents always had lights up for Christmas – the big old-fashioned-y colored bulbs (which were also on our tree). Since I’ve been living on my own (well, on my own together with my husband), we’ve never had lights. We’ve only had a house on which to hang lights for two Christmasses, counting this one, so that’s part of it. But I kind of vaguely wanted lights this year, and my husband had about 50 reasons not to do them, so we didn’t do them.

    There is an impossible-to-reach string of (unplugged in) Christmas lights in the tree in our front yard, though. A holiday gift-that-keeps-on-giving from the previous owners.

  13. leanne says

    Growing up my parents didn’t put lights up on the outside. My husband and I have never done lights on our house. I could come up with all sorts of reasons/excuses (lack of outlets outside the house except in the garage, living in Wisconsin and the lack of cooperative weather). And this year I can add ILLNESSES to the list (holy crud, the viruses). But I think it might be nice to try sometime. For the first time this year we went on a walk around the neighborhood just to look at the lights — more houses are definitely decorating this year. It was a fun walk.

  14. says

    We always put up lights and in our neighborhood so do about 90-95% of the houses. Interestingly, we also have hundreds (no exaggeration) of trick or treaters at Halloween.

  15. Mactexas says

    We are in our 70’s, so we no longer put lights on the roof, but we put garland with lights around our front door and also on the shrubs either side of the porch. WE are on a two block long cul de sac, with 12 houses, and only 4 of us put up anything. Only 4 of us do anything at Halloween. It is so easy to put lights on a couple of shrubs and it costs very little. I hope I never get too old to enjoy Christmas lights.

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