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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Growing Up: The Magic of Holiday Lights

Michael Nolan
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Ask ten people what comes to mind when they think about the holidays and you will likely get ten different answers. From the scent of a fresh cut tree to the jovial sound of Christmas carols, everywhere you look there are memories to be had.

christmas-treeGrowing up, some of my most enduring memories of the holidays were of the decorations themselves. Holiday lights held a particular fascination for me as a child. There is something truly magical that happens when you lay underneath a newly decorated tree and stare up through the maze of tiny lights that cause even the most time-worn ornaments to glisten like new. That same magic turns ordinary neighborhood streets into sparkling fantasy lands as soon as the sun goes down.

When I talked to Garden Club member Terri S. from Washington, she knew her favorite holiday memory immediately. You could hear the nostalgic smile in her voice as she told me her story.

“I’ll never forget the little silver aluminum tree that my Dad set up in the den. I would lay there for hours and watch the spinning color disc underneath throw colors and shadows all around the room.” Terri shared. “Dad told us that it was Santa’s ‘Bat Signal’ and it was my job to make sure it was turned on every night, all the way to Christmas Eve!” 

holiday-lights-203x280Oid R. in Georgia related an all-too familiar scenario from his own childhood.

“When I was growing up, the lights that went on the Christmas tree were problematic. If one bulb was not working, the entire strand would not light.  Each Christmastime, it was my job to make sure that all the bulbs were working. It taught me patience.”

I too remember tedious hours of testing strand after strand of tiny bulbs to find one that was broken or burned out. These days though, I have upgraded to LED holiday lights. They cost less to operate (no more saying ‘Merry Christmas‘ to the power company), they are far less of a fire risk than the holiday lights we grew up with, and best of all they don’t have bulbs to burn out. So no more hours spent like Clark Griswold testing every light on a strand.

If you decide to give LED lights a try this season, you might want to check out the Home Depot Eco-Options Holiday Light Exchange and find out how you can trade in your old lights and save as much as $5 per strand on new LED lights! For more info, read Lynn’s “The Good Seed: Holiday Lights” blog.

Finally, a heartfelt sentiment from me to you. We all spend countless hours planning and preparing our decorations, gifts, parties, and menus. No matter how you light up the holidays this season, don’t miss the chance to take some time and remember the true lights of your life – your family and friends.

Happy Holidays to you all,






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